The Florida Supreme Court has settled a dispute among appellate courts in the state over whether nursing home defendants may compel arbitration in cases where the agreement was signed by a friend or family member. Essentially, unless there has been a court order investing that individual with those legal powers, the agreement won’t be enforceable.
The decision in the case, Mendez v. Hampton Court Nursing Center, resolves a dispute between the Third District Court of Appeals and other state appellate courts. The 3rd DCA had ruled an arbitration agreement signed by a nursing home resident’s son was valid and enforceable because the father was mentally incapacitated and the son was serving as his representative. However, the state high court ruled the father’s mental capacity should not factor in to whether the son had legal standing to sign the arbitration provision in his nursing home admission papers.
According to court records, the father was admitted to the nursing home back in 2009. His son signed his admission paperwork, including the arbitration contract. Continue reading