A 100-year-old woman is strangled by her roommate, but a lawsuit against the nursing home gets blocked from court. Another nursing home dodges a suit when a 94-year-old patient suffers an unexplained and fatal head wound. An Arizona facility manages to duck a negligence suit when an elderly Alzheimer’s patient endures two sexual assaults in two days in a nursing home. How can these and other similar efforts to seek justice for the aggrieved fail to find their day in court?
Federal regulators, with oversight on 1.5 million nursing home residents and more than $1 trillion in Medicare and Medicare funding, finally have stepped in with new rules in answer. Nursing homes will now be barred from forcing arbitration onto their customers. That means that nursing homes will no longer be able to push significant problems involving negligence, elder abuse, sexual harassment, and even wrongful death, out of public view and the civil courts, and into the private system of arbitration.
This is a big win for consumers.