Congress and our fellow citizens are not the only ones urging the federal government to reconsider its approval of pre-dispute arbitration clauses in nursing homes. On August 8th, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined 16 other Attorneys General in submitting comments to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the government organization that just last year fought for a ban on arbitration clauses. After the American Health Care Association successfully brought a lawsuit to block enforcement of a ban, CMS has done an about-face and has decided to now voice its support for pre-dispute arbitration clauses.
Arbitration Clauses: A Strong Arm Tactic
As we’ve covered extensively in this blog, arbitration clauses are in the best interests of the defense, forcing an injured victim and their loved ones to forgo their 7th amendment right to a jury trial. Asking someone to agree to settle grievances out of court before they even happen is like asking someone how they would respond in a hypothetical situation that they could never imagine finding themselves in. No one ever entrusts their loved one to a nursing home with the expectation that they will face abuse or neglect, but the reality is that these incidents are occurring with alarming frequency. Allowing nursing homes to use arbitration clauses as a condition of admission is a tactic that allows wealthy nursing home owners to pick a ‘negotiator’ who will help reach a settlement that historically is in the best interests of the nursing home. The injured party rarely receives fair compensation for tragedies such as medication errors, falls, bed sores, sexual abuse, and other horrific forms of nursing home abuse or neglect that result in injury and even death.
A press release from Attorney General Madigan’s office says that the comments by Madigan and 16 fellow Attorneys General voice their strong disagreement with CMS’s decision to not uphold a ban on pre-dispute arbitration agreements. The press release cites this comment:“We believe that the prohibition on pre-dispute arbitration clauses provides an important protection for the consumers of our States at a time when consumers are undertaking a difficult and emotional decision.”
You Don’t Have to Fight Alone
For over 25 years, the Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Levin and Perconti have tirelessly pursued justice for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. The decision to allow a nursing home to care for you or a loved one is indeed an emotional, difficult one. To experience a violation of any kind in a place that is supposed to provide compassionate, skilled care is unimaginable.
When a nursing home has violated the standard of care, our lawyers have fought for families just like yours, securing not only large verdicts and settlements, but policy changes that have prevented others from becoming victims. A consultation with one of our Chicago elder law attorneys is completely free. Consultations can be requested online or by calling us toll-free at 877-374-1417. Our attorneys are not paid unless they are able to successfully handle your case. However, there is a time limit for filing cases in Illinois, so please, call us now.
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