Blatant Neglect With No Recourse

In 2008, a car accident left Richard with a serious cervical spine injury.  Emergency room physicians placed him in a cervical collar but never detected the injury and later ordered it removed.  The result was devastating.  Richard was paralyzed.

His physicians transferred Richard to a nursing home.  Despite Richard being awake and competent, the staff there asked his daughter Kristin to sign the admittance form. When she asked if there was anything she needed to read, the staff assured her she simply needed to sign.

Kristin signed, without knowing that the contract contained a forced arbitration clause that eliminated her father’s civil justice rights in the event of negligence or wrongdoing by the nursing home.  The significance of that soon became clear.

Because of his paralysis, Richard needed to be moved every few hours to prevent bed sores from developing. The nursing home neglected this duty, and Richard developed bed sores so severe he died. 

The nursing home’s behavior was outrageous and Richard’s estate should have had every right to hold the home accountable in court.  But because of that little forced arbitration clause slipped into the admission form, the lawsuit was dismissed outright.  Richard’s representatives were forced into arbitration, to be decided by an individual whose fee was paid by the nursing home.

That’s not justice.