Supreme Court sides with SNF, won't review Extendicare arbitration case

The court declined to review the case on Monday
The court declined to review the case on Monday

The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Monday to review an arbitration dispute between an Extendicare facility and the family of a deceased resident. The decision means the family must arbitrate with the facility over survival claims.

The high court's denial of the case will leave in place a September decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that allows nursing homes to force survival claims into arbitration.

Taylor v. Extendicare Health Facilities, Inc. involved the family of a resident who died in April 2012 during her stay at an Extendicare facility. The family filed wrongful death and survival claims against the provider in October 2012.

The resident's family, who had signed a pre-dispute arbitration agreement upon the resident's admission, argued that the survival claim couldn't be forced into arbitration since state law states such claims must be joined with wrongful death claims, which are required to be tried in court.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the family's arguments clashed with the Federal Arbitration Act — which preempts the state's rules — and that arbitration must be compelled for any claim that's subject to arbitration.

An attorney for the family told Bloomberg BNA that he was “disappointed” by “not surprised” at the Supreme Court's denial of the case, and has filed a petition in a case that he thinks will serve as a “better vehicle” for Supreme Court review into nursing home arbitration agreements.

The high court heard arguments in another high-profile nursing home arbitration case last month.