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Supreme Court Asked to Reverse Decision in Golden LivingCenter’s Dispute

Friday, January, 15, 2016

The Golden LivingCenters nursing home chain is asking the US Supreme Court to reverse a recent decision made by a previous court that did not honor a federal preference for arbitration. The nursing home chain asked the court to review the ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued in October 2015 that voided some arbitration agreements that were based on the now-unenforceable National Arbitration Forum.


Golden LivingCenters argues that the state supreme court decision is in opposition with rulings from other state and federal courts, as well as the Federal Arbitration Act. They further stated the Federal Arbitration Act was designed to foster arbitration over court for settling disputes, and that the state supreme court ignored this.


According to the petition issued by Golden LivingCenters to the US Supreme Court, “In this case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court failed to honor the strong federal presumption in favor of arbitration. Despite the public policy favoring arbitration embodied in the FAA, the Pennsylvania court elevated the importance of a provision designating that the arbitral body's procedural rules should apply to the dispute, rules the court conceded to do not operate to appoint a particular arbitrator.”


The state court also found that a plaintiff who filed a suit against Golden LivingCenters should not be forced to arbitrate because she was unaware of the agreement she signed when she placed her mother under the care of the facility. The client failed to read the agreement and later claimed her mother’s condition was made worse during her two-month stay with Golden LivingCenters.