Upon admission to a South Florida nursing home, it is not uncommon for a new resident or loved ones to be handed a stack of papers to sign. Increasingly, those papers contain a document that requires the patient to forfeit their right to have any disputes handled in court. Instead, they agree to have those disputes heard by a professional arbitrator.
These documents are often tucked away in the package of admission papers, and people often feel deceived once an issue arises and they realize the rights they have signed away.
For nursing homes, the benefit is clear: The results of arbitration are confidential. The awards are usually substantially less. And plaintiff success rate in arbitration as compared to the courtroom is significantly lower.