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Forced Arbitration Clauses - How You May Be Hurt by the Fine Print

Forced Arbitration Clauses - How You May Be Hurt by the Fine Print

Many consumer and employment contracts contain arbitration clauses. Whether you’re opening a new credit card or signing a contract with a cell phone company, arbitration clauses seem to be in almost all consumer and employee contracts, and individuals are often forced to sign these clauses to receive services. By consenting to an arbitration clause, an individual is saying that in the event of a dispute with the corporation, the individual cannot take his or her case to court, but must instead settle the case through a private arbitration forum, designed by the very corporation the dispute is against. Those who are forced to settle their disputes through arbitration deal with a variety of unfair tactics including one-sided requirements, high costs, and biased decision-makers. As if this wasn’t enough, most arbitration clauses require that proceedings be kept confidential, even if the case raises important health and safety issues that the public should know about. After considering all of these factors, the entire arbitration process may seem a bit unfair, and in many cases, it is.

A Recent Arbitration Rule Brings Relief

Unfortunately, arbitration clauses have found their way into nursing home contracts. Entering a nursing home can be an upsetting and stressful time for patients and their families. In addition to this, many nursing homes require their patients to sign an arbitration clause, giving up the patient’s right to a trial in case of future negligence by the nursing home. Regulators have taken action against this practice. On September 28, 2016, a new rule was passed that now bans mandatory arbitration agreements for nursing homes.

Specifically, an agency within the Health and Human Services Department ruled that any nursing home that receives federal funding cannot legally require its nursing home residents to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement. This recent change in the rule is welcomed because now nursing home patients and their families will have more options and rights if they decide to sue a nursing home in a case of negligence.

What You Need to Know

Arbitration clauses can have a significant impact on your rights. If you are ever presented with an arbitration clause to sign, there are three ways to avoid signing the agreement:

  1. Ask to sign after admission and then simply do not sign it.
  2. Cross out and withhold surrogate authority.
  3. Consider going somewhere else.

Because of this new law, no one can be forced to sign an arbitration agreement when being admitted into a nursing home. If you or a loved one have a claim against a nursing home and have been forced to sign an arbitration clause, call the Thorp Law Firm in Raleigh, North Carolina, and speak with our award-winning premier personal injury attorney today.

Our law firm and attorney handle personal injury, trucking accident, product liability, medical malpractice and other types of cases. We handle cases throughout North Carolina, including Wake County, Durham County, Orange County, Johnston County and other counties throughout the state. The Thorp Law Firm offers a free consultation in which their experienced attorney will assess your case and if necessary, fight for your compensation. Contact the Thorp Law Firm at (919) 373-3390, or log on to and fill out the contact form. Don’t miss out on your chance to be compensated.