Wednesday, February 12, 2020
My daily news feed from Bloomberg Law contained an article about a recent case. Here's a quick excerpt from the article, Son’s Signature Didn’t Bind Nursing Home Resident to Arbitration:
An Arkansas nursing home resident’s representative won’t be forced to arbitrate medical negligence and breach of contract claims against the facility because neither the resident nor her representative signed an arbitration agreement, a state appeals court said.
The Arkansas Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s denial of Hickory Heights Health & Rehab LLC’s motion to compel arbitration of claims brought on behalf of Mary Young. Young’s son signed an arbitration agreement along with an admissions agreement when Young first entered Hickory Heights, the court said. But his signature wasn’t binding because he wasn’t Young’s designated representative at the time, it said.
The result is somewhat unusual, as arbitration clauses are favored under both state and federal law. But, as the court noted, arbitration agreements are contracts and may be invalidated by any generally applicable contract defense, such as invalidity.
The case is Hickory Heights Health & Rehab, LLC v. Taylor, 2020 Ark. App. 98 (2020).