Starting November 28, 2016, when placing loved ones in nursing homes it will not require signing away legal rights.
The regulators for Medicare and Medicaid barred any nursing homes receiving federal funding from being able to require any residents in advance to agree to resolving disputes using arbitration as opposed to doing this in court. This was a big breakthrough. The end of this pre dispute arbitration clauses for nursing home contracts will mean it’s the end of this unacceptable practice which has acted as a shield for nursing homes from any liability involving liability claims of abuse, neglect, or harassment and assault as well as wrongful death.
Basically this is a ruling which will restore to nursing home residents as well as their families a basic right of all Americans to have their day in court and a chance at justice if they were wronged in any way.
Just as important, this ruling creates the opening to end other pre dispute arbitration for any other corporation or institution that receive any financial support. A rule has been proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that would prevent financial firms, banks, credit card companies, etc. form using any arbitration clauses which prevent consumers from being able to join t0gether in a class action lawsuit. As an example, had this rule been in affect when Wells Fargo customers had discovered that fake accounts were being opened using their names the could have sued as a group. But they were denied access to the courts because of a pre dispute clause which is signed when they had opened their real accounts which was then deemed to also apply to fraudulent accounts.
This nursing home rule can now be used as a template for other pre dispute forced arbitration allowing other regulators to use and develop strong reforms that are similar. In the previous decades this pre dispute forced pre dispute arbitration has grown into a privatized system governing all contracts which then favors corporations shielding them from being held accountable.
This is a sign that finally the door to the courts may again be opened to the average American.