This is bad news for the family, because they lose many of the protections of the court system, including rules of evidence and the right to have a case heard publicly by a jury. In one recent case, a woman in a nursing home in Pennsylvania died from injuries she suffered when she was thrown from a wheelchair while being transported to a doctor’s appointment. When her family sued for compensation, the nursing home pointed to the admission contract, which said that any dispute arising from the contract had to go to arbitration. But in this case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court sided with the family. It said that the contract required arbitration if there was a financial dispute with the nursing home, but the woman’s wheelchair injury was a separate matter and didn’t “arise from” the admission contract.
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