Articles Tagged with forced arbitration

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170428100933-trump-white-house-0425-1024x576-300x169The rights of the elderly, particularly those who have suffered abuse, neglect, or assault in a nursing home, may be seriously impacted in the near future. Last year, as President Obama’s final term was winding down, his administration stopped allowing nursing homes that receive federal funding from requiring that their new residents sign a binding arbitration agreement. Binding arbitration agreements prevent plaintiffs — in this case the elderly residents —  from ever taking the nursing homes to court. Instead, the residents would be forced into an out-of-court arbitration conducted by an industry-friendly arbitrator.

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Nursing-home-resident-1-300x196Millions of nursing home residents have signed away their right to sue their nursing home, regardless of whether they were sexually assaulted, physically abused or suffered serious injuries as a result of their care. The worst part is: these residents may not even know it. Forced arbitration clauses, which are often hidden in nursing home contracts that families sign, effectively force patients to renounce their ability to go to court, forcing them into binding private arbitration.

Fortunately, thanks to the intervention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), nursing homes have been barred from inserting forced arbitration clauses as of November 28, 2016. This has significant ramifications that you need to know about.
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02arbitration-brenner-web-superJumbo-300x211Debbie Brenner was in her 40s when she began the 14-month surgical technician curriculum at Lamson College. The program would cost her over $24,000, but it seemed well worth the cost considering the school’s promise that Debbie would have no trouble finding a job after graduation.

Lamson College sales reps assured Debbie that the school would set her up with an externship at a local hospital or surgical center, and that starting salaries for Lamson graduates ranged from $15 to $26 per hour. They urged Debbie to enroll quickly in order to secure a highly coveted place in the competitive program.

Debbie found early evidence that the program was not all it was cracked up to be. Many professors had little experience in the field of surgical tech, and school equipment was often outdated, broken or missing.
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its-scary-how-much-you-give-up-when-you-sign-a-user-agreement1-300x142In 2011, Leydiana Santiago was told that she had suffered a miscarriage. She had previously stopped taking her prescribed lupus medication because of its known connection to birth defects. Upon hearing the tragic news, Leydiana resumed her daily dosage.

Leydiana had no way of knowing that her doctor at Lifetime Obstetrics and Gynecology had made an error. Her baby was still alive, and was born later that year with impaired vision and hearing, as well as requiring the amputation of both thumbs.

When Leydiana tried to sue Lifetime Obstetrics and Gynecology for medical malpractice, she learned that she had already signed a contract that banned her from taking the clinic to court.
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