Court must reconsider arbitration provision agreement

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Battles among family members and providers over the validity of arbitration agreements continue to flare around the country. One Tennessee case this month, for example, was tossed back to the trial court to re-examine whether a resident's healthcare power of attorney truly empowered his spouse to sign an arbitration agreement.

The Tennessee Court of Appeals wrote that a state trial court viewed Thomas Cabany Jr.'s signed power of attorney too narrowly. That means that it might have, in fact, empowered Cabany's wife to validly sign the arbitration agreement. That would waive the family's right to pursue claims against Mayfield Rehabilitation and Special Care Center and NHC Healthcare of Murfreesboro, TN. Cabany died in 2004.

The recent court order can be found as Cabany v. Mayfield Rehabilitation and Special Care Center, Tenn. Ct. App., No. M2006-00594-COA-R3-CV, 11/15/07. The court's decision is available at