When Should You Agree to a Nursing Home Arbitration Clause?

Never.

Nursing homes put (sneak?) arbitration clauses into their admissions packet for your signature. Do not—do not–agree to that. If the nursing home harms your loved one, the arbitration clause deprives you of a jury trial and prevents you from having your day in court.

The admission director will tell you “Arbitrations are faster and less expensive than going to court.” Don’t believe that. Any lawyer representing you in a lawsuit against a nursing home or assisted living facility will advance the costs and you won’t have to pay any costs unless you win the case. So, it’s not more expensive for you. Also, arbitrations often take longer, and it’s nearly impossible to select a neutral arbitrator who is truly neutral.

I’ve served as a plaintiff’s arbitrator on nursing home arbitration panels, and I can tell you it’s an uphill battle to convince the “neutral” arbitrator that the plaintiff deserves an award.

Don’t sign it.