A state district court has ruled that a nursing home’s arbitration agreement was unenforceable because it was unconscionable. The nursing home, in response to a lawsuit alleging deprivation of a resident’s rights and wrongful death, sought to compel arbitration pursuant to a provision contained in the facility care contract.
However, the court regarded the nursing home’s actions as an unconscionable way to avoid liability. Without explaining any substantive provisions or discussing the arbitration agreement, the admissions director at the facility deceptively had the deceased patient’s daughter sign a 37 page document in less than five minutes. Further, the facility never informed the patient’s daughter that she did not have to sign the contract for her father to receive care, nor did they provide a copy of the contract once it was signed. It appears the facility’s primary objective was simply to avoid litigation at any cost, regardless of its general failure to provide adequate care to its residents.