When Elizabeth Barrow first went to Brandon Woods nursing home in South
Dartmouth, Massachusetts, her contract included a clause that made it
so any dispute would be handled in private arbitration. In 2009, Mrs.
Barrow was found dead at the nursing home due to suffocation at the hands
of her roommate. While the woman was charged with murder and later deemed
unfit to stand trial and committed to a state hospital, Mrs. Barrow’s
son, Scott, was unable to take Brandon Woods to court. In 2010, he was
barred from bringing a claim in court.
Mr. Barrow’s initial argument claimed that the nursing home knew
the history of problems his mother’s roommate had. Despite this,
authorities did not focus on the nursing home. Now, almost seven years
later, Scott will finally get the opportunity to have his case heard in
front of a state court in Massachusetts. The hearing is scheduled for
Arbitration clauses in contracts have been widely used over the last decade,
but many feel that the arbitration process and its secretiveness can make
it difficult to detect wrongdoing. This case is crucial because of the
ability to bypass the arbitration clause and the ability to have the claim
heard in court. In 2014, a judge ruled that Mr. Barrow, despite being
named his mother’s health care proxy, did not have authority to
sign a contract that would bind his mother to an arbitration clause.
Nursing home neglect is a serious issue and can result in serious injury or death. If someone
you love has been harmed,
call our Nebraska nursing home abuse lawyers at Domina Law Group.
We work to hold negligent nursing homes accountable for their actions.
We are ready to help you and your family.