John Mitchell was admitted into a nursing home by Paul Ormond in Massachusetts. When handed a few dozen pages of admission, Ormond signed where he was asked too. During Mitchell's time at the institution, he needed to be transferred to a different nursing home after having a tracheotomy as a result of a stroke. During his transfer from the hospital to the new nursing home, a member dropped him while using a lift device. They called 911 but cancelled the ambulance call after his vital signs stabilized. Mitchell became unresponsive later that night and died a few days later from extensive bleeding on his brain.
When a lawyer was called to look into the case, he found that Ormond had signed an arbitration agreement with his admission papers. The arbitration agreement meant that in the event of a problem or injury, you agree to bring the dispute before an arbitrator instead of filing a lawsuit for the injury. Families have to hire a lawyer plus the arbitrator's fee which can come to hundreds of dollars an hour. The amount that the family could receive in damages is often far less than it could receive in trail.
When signing papers that have to do with a loved one's health, be aware of what you are signing and what affects it could have on you or your family in the future. If you or a loved one has been injured by medical malpractice, there are lawyers with experience, knowledge, resources and client focus that get results.
The Cooper Firm carefully screens all medical malpractice cases to ensure that they meet with all state and federal requirements for filing a negligence lawsuit. Medical malpractice liability can be difficult to pursue. These cases consume a great deal of time, energy and resources. Expert witnesses must be enlisted to assist in the litigation process, providing an affidavit outlining the negligence of a fellow physician. Because of the complexity of a medical malpractice claim, it is important that it is pursued as quickly as possible after the negligent conduct.
Source: The Washington Post, "Signing a mandatory arbitration agreement with a nursing home can be troublesome," Michelle Andrews, September. 17, 2012