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Supreme Court Refuses Golden Living Center Case

Saturday, May, 7, 2016

The US Supreme Court recently announced it will not hear a nursing home arbitration case that involves Golden Living Centers. The high court has previously made the same decision in a similar case in March.


The case was Beverly Enters., Inc. v. Cyr. It involved a nursing home arbitration agreement based on the National Arbitration Forum, which is no longer the arbitration panel for consumer disputes. The defendant was Judy Cyr, whose mother died while staying at Golden Living Centers – Windemere, which is located in Augusta, GA. Cyr sound to dismiss a motion to compel arbitration in her wrongful death lawsuit filed against Golden Living. She claimed her mother’s arbitration agreement wasn’t enforceable because it relied on the National Arbitration Forum guidelines.


This latest decision from the Supreme Court preserves a previous decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that found the National Arbitration Forum’s code to be an essential part of the agreement. An earlier ruling came in favor of Golden Living, saying the forum choice was not integral to the arbitration clause in the contract.


The decision is also similar to a recent refusal to review another Golden Living Centers lawsuit in Pennsylvania. It makes for the latest in a series of state and federal court decisions that deem some arbitration agreements not enforceable because of their reliance on National Arbitration Forum code.


Golden Living Centers encouraged the Supreme Court to hear an appeal and reverse a ruling in another case; Wert v. ManorCare of Carlisle, by claiming the court rulings from earlier hadn’t honored the strong federal presumption in favor of arbitration.