Rule Restores Nursing Home Abuse Victims’ Ability to Sue
Binding arbitration clauses have long been the bane of nursing home residents and their families. They are required by many long-term care facilities. Residents who are forced to sign them give up their right to sue the nursing home in court; instead, they are required to submit to mandatory arbitration when a dispute occurs.
Pre-dispute binding arbitration clauses have been under fire for years by those who say the clauses strip away the legal rights of victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. Fortunately, a long overdue change is coming.
New rule restores legal rights
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has just released a new federal rule that bans pre-dispute binding arbitration clauses from all nursing homes that receive federal aid (which applies to most of these long-term care facilities). Attorneys at The Sanders Firm applaud the new rule, noting that residents and their families will now have greater access to legal remedies.
The CMS released updated rules and guidelines on September 28, 2016. Along with banning pre-dispute arbitration clauses, the CMS announced other “major changes to improve the care and safety of the nearly 1.5 million residents in the more than 15,000 long-term care facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.”
Doing away with arbitration clauses was first proposed in 2015. After receiving about 10,000 comments from the public, the new rule was finally approved and announced, and is scheduled to go into effect in November 2016.
Holding negligent parties accountable
For years, families with loved ones in nursing homes have been severely limited in their legal options. Arbitration can sometimes be a successful venue for the victims, but it simply can’t compare to bringing a negligent party to court to account for their actions. Without pre-dispute binding arbitration clauses, senior residents and their families have the option to file a lawsuit against the nursing home, should they choose to do so following an act of negligence or intentional harm. Not only will this enable victims and their families to attain a sense of justice and compensation for their losses, but the very fact that a lawsuit could be filed may serve as a powerful deterrent to substandard nursing homes and encourage them to provide the high-quality care that their residents deserve.
According to a 2009 study from the American Health Care Association, nursing home abuse cases received, on average, awards that were estimated to be 35 percent lower than they would have been if the plaintiffs had been able to file a lawsuit.
NY nursing home abuse lawyers
The Sanders Firm has a longstanding tradition of helping families who have suffered harm because of the negligence of others. From our main offices in Manhattan, Long Island, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, our personal injury lawyers are privileged to serve clients nationally.
If you are concerned about the care your loved one is receiving in a long-term care facility, you can find out about your legal options by consulting a member of our award-winning firm. Call 1.800.FAIR.PLAY today to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation case review.
- CMS.gov, CMS finalizes improvements in care, safety, and consumer protections for long-term care facility residents, https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2016-Press-releases-items/2016-09-28.html
- NPR, New Rule Preserves Patients' Rights To Sue Nursing Homes In Court, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/29/495918132/new-rule-preserves-patients-rights-to-sue-nursing-homes-in-court