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The post below was published on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 at 10:24 AM.

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Certified Question: Arbitration & Wrongful Death Claims

If a nursing home resident executes a broad agreement to arbitrate claims relating to the resident’s care at the home and the resident dies, is the resident’s estate bound by the agreement for purposes of a wrongful death claim?

The Fifth District confronted that question in this case. The court acknowledged that numerous Florida appellate opinions have ordered arbitration of wrongful death claims against nursing home operators, but none of them addressed this particular issue.

The court unanimously held that the arbitration agreement binds the estate. The court also certified the following to the Florida Supreme Court as a question of great public importance:

DOES THE EXECUTION OF A NURSING HOME ARBITRATION AGREEMENT BY A PARTY WITH THE CAPACITY TO CONTRACT, BIND THE PATIENT’S ESTATE AND STATUTORY HEIRS IN A SUBSEQUENT WRONGFUL DEATH ACTION ARISING FROM AN ALLEGED TORT WITHIN THE SCOPE OF AN OTHERWISE VALID ARBITRATION AGREEMENT[?]

Arbitration fans, take note.

















































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