Consumer advocacy groups and legislators are asking for a law that would ban the use of forced arbitration agreements in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, which essentially strip residents’ rights to a day in court by prohibiting them from filing lawsuits. According to a news report, a rule change made back in June by the Trump Administration stopped short of banning these unfair arbitration agreements. Unfortunately, residents of nursing homes are mistreated all of the time, which can lead to a RI nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Consumer advocates say this rule change did not go far enough to protect residents from being victimized by neglectful and unscrupulous nursing home practices. Now, a group of 31 U.S. senators are adding their voices to that opposition and asking the administration to reconsider its stance on this issue. In their letter addressed to the administration, the senators argue that these forced arbitration clauses “stack the deck” against nursing home residents and their families who face a number of potential dangers.
Why Are Arbitration Clauses Unjust?
Such arbitration clauses deny wronged individuals the justice they deserve. Further, the clauses cause the legal claims to be funneled into a resolution system that is rigged in favor of the nursing home industry. In addition, nursing homes hide behind these arbitration clauses, shielding themselves from public scrutiny and using them as a way to cover up their unethical practices.
An initial proposal by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) banned forced arbitration clauses, but the current proposal under the Trump administration exposes residents and families at risk. The new rule allows nursing homes once again to require the signing of these arbitration agreements before a resident can be admitted. This puts families in a tough place because they must decide whether to sign the contract or not have a place to admit their loved one.
What Kind Of Abuse Do Nursing Home Residents Face?
This discussion and debate come at a time when nursing home abuse and neglect is on the rise nationwide. We’re seeing a wide range of incidents from residents not getting medical care or even basic care, to nursing home employees posting lewd photos of vulnerable residents without their knowledge on social media outlets, such as Snapchat. Other injuries that these residents are opened up to include physical abuse and neglect, sexual assault, and even wrongful death. Nursing home arbitration agreements make it more difficult and challenging for residents and families to assert their rights, particularly in situations where abuse and/or neglect have taken place.
Call d’Oliveira & Associates Today!
If you or a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is crucial that you understand your legal rights. Our personal injury lawyers are working with extremely experienced nursing home abuse lawyers, who are fighting hard to protect the rights of residents and their families. Call us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online, to schedule a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.