Nursing home operator petitions Supreme Court to rule on arbitration in wrongful death cases

Share this article:

The U.S. Supreme Court may again weigh in on arbitration agreements in nursing homes.

Nursing home company SSC Odin Operating Co. recently filed a writ of certiorari asking the nation's highest court to resolve a question on the matter. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in September that Sue Carter, the daughter of a deceased Odin resident, could bring a wrongful death suit despite arbitration agreements that were in place. Carter had signed those agreements as her mother's personal representative, but that did not preclude her from pursuing litigation on her own behalf, the court determined. However, other state supreme courts have ruled differently in similar cases and are “sharply divided regarding arbitration of wrongful-death claims,” Odin asserted in its writ.

At issue is a federal statute, the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), which Odin says is not being correctly applied by courts over arbitration agreements. The U.S. Supreme Court itself ruled in Feb. 2012 that the West Virginia Supreme Court was “incorrect and inconsistent with clear instruction” in its interpretation of the FAA.

“The preemptive effect of the FAA in the wrongful-death context and the arbitrability of wrongful-death claims generally are issues that have divided courts throughout the United States, creating a patchwork of conflicting rulings in an area of law where a uniform federal rule is vitally important,” Odin stated in its filing.

Share this article:

More in News

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause disastrous care transitions, expert warns

'Minor' issues at the nursing home can cause ...

What may appear to be minor administrative problems in a nursing home - a fax machine locked away at night or no one designated to copy paperwork - can cause ...

Long-term care facilities approach 80% worker flu vaccination rate after handing power ...

Fourteen long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania dramatically increased their staff flu vaccination rate by having a regional pharmacy take over the process, according to a report issued Thursday by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR).

RACs were 'most improved' healthcare auditors for getting back money in 2013, ...

Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors dramatically stepped up their overpayment recoveries last year, returning nearly $487 million more to the government than they did in 2012, according to a new report from a federal watchdog agency.