Kentucky Courts Uphold Arbitration Agreements between Patients and Extended Care Facilities
Wednesday, January, 15, 2014
After an 80-year old patient passed away while living as a resident in an Extendicare facility in Kentucky, her son sued the company for wrongful death despite the fact that his mother had signed two separate arbitration agreements with the company. A jury recently determined that the arbitration agreement still stands despite claims by the family that the deceased was confused and under the influence of painkillers when she signed the agreements.
Extendicare owns 21 health and rehabilitation centers in Kentucky and requests that all patients sign arbitration agreements upon admittance. However, the company claims it does not require such agreements to be signed and admits and cares for patients regardless.
The deceased, Nora Chapple, was admitted to an Extendicare facility in June 2011 and again in August 2011. She signed standard admittance paperwork each time and passed away shortly after arrival the second time. Her son claimed that she was in pain, mentally unsound, and that family members should have been present before she was compelled to sign any agreement. The jury rejected each of these arguments and the arbitration ruling stands.
Extendicare has leased all of its operations and is seeking to divest itself of Kentucky facilities due to the “litigation atmosphere” of the state, according to company representatives.