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Nursing Home Negligence Case to Be Heard in Court Despite Arbitration Clause

elderly patient in a wheel chair

Patient NeglectWhen 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 next month.

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 the 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.

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