Due to understaffing and neglect, injuries in nursing homes occur alarmingly often. When they do, victims and their families may find that their ability to hold the home accountable is severely restricted by a clause in the documents they signed upon entering the home: an arbitration agreement. In the article “Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements,” published in Penton Wealth Management, Michael Fedalen outlines the main problems with arbitration agreements, as well as a few possible steps elders can take to combat these agreements.
There are many issues with arbitration agreements. For example, arbitrators are for-profit professionals rather than unbiased public servants; additionally, victims are unlikely to be able to prove their case, as they are limited to whatever information arbitrators decide they may access. Mr. Fedalen recommends that elderly clients refuse to sign agreements that include arbitration clauses, as nursing homes cannot include arbitration agreements as a condition of admission.