Supreme Court of Florida declares arbitration agreements cannot undermine nursing home residents’ statutory rights

Location: Florida

Plaintiffs: Edward Henry Clark and Angela Gessa
Defendants: Tandem Health Care of Winter Haven and Manor Care of Carrollwood

Description: After nursing home defendants sought to enforce arbitration agreements that limited the nursing homes’ liability either by precluding punitive damages or also by limiting noneconomic damages, the Supreme Court of Florida declared the arbitration agreements unenforceable. The Supreme Court of Florida explained that the arbitration agreements that were executed during the residents’ admission process were unenforceable because the agreements undermined specific statutory remedies in Florida’s Nursing Home Resident’s Rights Act. As a result of the Supreme Court of Florida’s ruling, the two nursing home negligence cases continued before the trial court as opposed to a private arbitrator. Both cases later settled for confidential sums.

Shotts v. OP Winter Haven, Inc., 86 So. 3d 456 (Fla. 2011); Gessa v. Manor Care of Florida, Inc., 86 So. 3d 484 (Fla. 2011).

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