Appellate Court Agrees that Arbitration Agreement was Inapplicable to Wrongful Death Claim of Resident’s Beneficiary

A Kentucky Appellate Court has held that an admission agreement’s arbitration clause signed by the resident’s son at the time of her nursing home admission did not apply to the son’s subsequent wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home and its operators.

John Cox III signed an agreement to admit his mother Elizabeth Cox to the Kindred Nursing Centers. The agreement included a clause, as do many nursing home agreements, authorizing arbitration of claims against the nursing homes. After Elizabeth died, her son brought a lawsuit against the nursing home and its operators claiming wrongful death and other claims of nursing home abuse and resulting damages.

The nursing home and its operators moved to compel arbitration. The trial judge granted the motion as to all claims except the plaintiff’s wrongful death action.

In citing case law, the Kentucky Appellate Court affirmed the decision of the trial judge. The court found that a contract signed by a decedent or his or her attorney-in-fact does not bind wrongful death beneficiaries whose claims are not derivative of and accrue separately on whatever personal injury claims the decedent may have had.

Wrongful death beneficiaries have not entered into a contract to arbitrate, the court’s opinion said, adding that consequently, its conclusion does not run contrary to the federal arbitration act’s mandate. Accordingly, the trial judge’s order denying arbitration of the plaintiff’s wrongful death action was correct and affirmed.

Attorneys Richard E. Circeo and Robert E. Salyer represented the Cox family in this case.

Kindred Nursing Centers Ltd. Partnership v. Cox Kindred Nursing Centers Ltd. Partnership, 2015 WL 3525113 (Ky. Ct. App. June 5, 2015).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling nursing home abuse cases, nursing home negligence cases, medical malpractice cases, birth injury cases and birth trauma injury cases for individuals and families who have been injured or killed by the negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas including, Cicero, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Geneva, Joliet, Lincolnwood, Lisle, Glencoe, Lake Forest, Lemont, Lockport, Mundelein, Northbrook, Norwood Park, Palatine, Round Lake Beach, Schaumburg, St. Charles, Chicago (Edgewater, Edgebrook, East Garfield Park, DePaul University Area, Chinatown, Buena Park, Bucktown, Bronzeville, Beverly, Loyola Park, Little Italy, Prairie District, Printers Row, Pulaski Park, Rogers Park, Roscoe Village, Sheffield, South Loop, University of Chicago, Hyde Park, New Town, Lincoln Square), Fox River Grove and Evergreen Park, Ill.

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