Supreme Court declines Extendicare's appeal to review arbitration case

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Jury hands down $14 million negligent care verdict to nursing homes
Jury hands down $14 million negligent care verdict to nursing homes

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a petition from Extendicare Homes to review a conflict over an arbitration agreement and wrongful death lawsuit.

This leaves in place a decision that put aside an arbitration agreement in a wrongful death action brought by the nursing home resident's survivors. The Pennsylvania Superior Court said that the state's wrongful death laws created an independent cause of action.

Extendicare petitioned the high court in May, and said the Pennsylvania court's ruling conflicted with previous court decisions in the state, and that courts in other states have ruled differently.

Arbitration agreements are a hot issue among long-term care providers, with courts in Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Michigan having recently said they are binding in wrongful death suits, but with Ohio and Missouri courts saying that wrongful death actions aren't subject to compelled arbitration.

The Extendicare case involves a resident who died in 2011. The Supreme Court also declined to intervene in arbitration agreement cases in 2013. 

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