Earlier this month, an appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida nursing home negligence case dealing with the validity of an arbitration agreement that was signed by the plaintiff on behalf of her deceased husband. The case required the court to determine whether the court or the arbitration panel named in the agreement should determine whether certain clauses contained in the arbitration agreement were severable from the rest of the contract. Ultimately, the court concluded that the severability of the clauses was properly before the court because the arbitration agreement contained no “delegation” clause.
When someone is injured due to the alleged negligence of another person or business, the injured person has a right to file a personal injury case against the party they believe to be responsible for their injuries. The same is true for the loss of a loved one. However, the right to file a claim in a court of law can be waived through an agreement to submit the claim to arbitration.
Arbitration is an informal, although still legally binding, way of resolving disputes between parties. Normally, arbitration is requested by a company prior to providing services. Commonly, arbitration agreements arise in the context of nursing home pre-admission contracts, whereby the resident agrees to submit any claim for damages to arbitration, rather than filing a personal injury case in a court of law.