Articles Posted in FAIR Act

Happy Nursing Home Resident

Illinois Lawmaker Introduces Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act

On December 5, 2019, U.S. Representatives Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act. This legislation would prohibit long-term care facilities from requiring or soliciting residents to enter into pre-dispute, mandatory, binding arbitration agreements. The Obama administration banned forced arbitration by nursing homes in 2016, but the Medicare and Medicaid Division stripped the rights from residents on July 16, 2019, by overturning the ban.

Long-term care residents should never be forced, pressured, threatened, or have it suggested they waive their right to court proceedings before a dispute even arises. And at Levin & Perconti, we applaud these lawmakers, especially Illinois Congresswoman Schakowsky, in seeking ways to reintroduce forced arbitration protections that support the legal rights and well-being of elderly Americans. These are our most vulnerable citizens who are being impacted by the nation’s abuse and neglect epidemic running ramped in U.S. nursing homes each day. Residents deserve their day in court should they become injured, ill, or fatally harmed due to someone else’s negligence.

Arbitration Agreement

Forced and Often Rigged, Arbitration Only Helps Companies

Some companies practice forced arbitration by removing its consumers and workers right to file a claim in a public court through formal, signed agreements. As defined by the American Bar Association, arbitration is “a private process where disputing parties agree that one or several individuals can make a decision about the dispute after receiving evidence and hearing arguments.” Similar to what happens in a trial, those involved will present their case along with evidence to the arbitrator. But parties may not have to follow state or federal rules of evidence. Likewise, the arbitrator is not always required to apply the governing law.

Millions are subject to the binding process, according to a new report by the American Association for Justice (AAJ). Truth About Forced Arbitration, calls the process an immunity and effort to allow companies to continue breaking the law. The AAJ collected five years of data on consumer and employment forced arbitrations reported by the nation’s two largest arbitration providers, the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and Jams and concluded these findings.

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