Court: State's 'Residents Act' renders arbitration agreement unenforceable

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The arbitration agreement between a Florida nursing home and a deceased former resident is unlawful, the Florida District Court of Appeals has ruled.

The court said that the arbitration provision in the agreement between The Place at Vero Beach Inc. and former resident Albert Williams conflicts with the Florida Nursing Home Residents Act and thus is not enforceable. The main reason the provision violates Florida public policy is because it establishes a higher threshold for proof of intentional or reckless conduct.

Also, the agreement is based on the rules of the American Health Lawyers Association. The court found it could not sever the provision establishing the AHLA as the standard.