Court rules that nursing home's arbitration provision violates resident rights

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A Florida Court of Appeals ruled that the arbitration agreement between a skilled nursing facility and its resident is void and unenforceable because it limits remedies and potential recovery of damages.

An arbitration agreement between Mary Frances Stokes, a resident with an unspecified grievance, and the facility, was contrary to the Florida Nursing Home Residents Act, the court found. It agreed with another court's finding that "requiring clear and convincing evidence of intentional or reckless misconduct effectively eliminates recovery for negligence, and is contrary to the Nursing Home Residents Act."

The ruling upholds previous court decisions that refused to enforce similar arbitration agreements.