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Will nursing home neglect cases be settled only by arbitration?

A person who has been wronged deserves a fair chance to have it made right. This is the underlying sentiment when a person must sue a senior care center for nursing home neglect or abuse. Some homes, like other larger companies, would prefer to handle these types of cases through arbitration. Pennsylvania residents may wish to follow the developing news about elder care and settling disputes.

In the past, senior care centers were forbidden from forcing their residents to sign arbitration agreements if the home took federal funds. Currently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are considering withdrawing that requirement. Proponents argue that disputes will be settled quickly, and without undue burden on the businesses. Critics claim that arbitration necessarily favors big business.

Since arbitration fees are typically paid for by the agency requiring it, arbitrators could potentially lean toward the agency that hires them in an effort to secure repeat business. This could be very bad for vulnerable populations. And since 33 percent of individuals in a nursing home can expect to experience adverse events or some type of harm, it makes sense why state attorneys general, consumer protection groups and others have teamed up to oppose such a change.

Nursing home neglect and abuse is heinous because it affects individuals who are frail and must be protected. In the event of this type of harm, a person or their family will want to seek justice for any damages. An elder law attorney can be a valuable guide when determining how to move forward with a neglect case in Pennsylvania.

Source:, "Consumer Confidential: Why Let Nursing Homes Dodge Litigation?", David Lazarus, Sept. 3, 2017


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