Nursing Homes Can’t Force Victims of Elder Abuse into Arbitration

A ruling in Washington D.C. on September 28, 2016 led to fantastic news for nursing home residents. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ruled that nursing homes could not force residents who have suffered injuries, abuse, or neglect due to negligence into binding arbitration.

What Protection Does the New Law Offer?

Any nursing home that accepts federal funding from Medicare or Medicaid cannot force victims of negligent care, elder abuse or even sexual harassment and assault, to go into the rigged arbitration system. Over one million Americans are in nursing homes, and that number is expected to grow and baby-boomers age. Many are forced to take whatever room is next available and sign any contract that the nursing home decides to issue.

How Is Arbitration Different?

Before today, nursing homes wrote contracts that required all dispute to be resolved by arbitration and not in court. Patients had to choose between getting the care they needed or giving up their right have a court hear their cases. No only does arbitration reduce the value of elder care claims, it also keeps abuse and neglect of the elderly under wraps. Courtrooms are public. Arbitration is not.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, or negligence by a nursing home or assisted living facility, call our team at Zukerberg & Halperin, PLLC today. We are experienced Washington DC personal injury attorneys.