What Is An Arbitration Agreement?

An arbitration agreement is a forced agreement.  When I say forced, I mean it’s forced on people when they are going to go live in a skilled care facility or an assisted living facility or group home.  It’s – you sign away your rights basically to protect your rights in the event that something adverse occurs.  For example, a person goes to live in one of these so-called senior living centers that are operated by a very large national chain that advertises on television, and you’ll be presented with roughly a 30 page admission agreement to sign and you may be the person who is going to live there, you may be the son or daughter or wife of the person who’s going to live there, but it’s not a very happy time for the family so you’re presented with this 30 page document, and on page 18 of that document is what is known as an arbitration agreement, which says, by the way, if something very bad happens to you here and we’re at fault for it, you can’t sue us.  You cannot bring a legal claim.  You are obligated to arbitrate that claim with us through, in many cases, very expensive industry groups that they pick, and so basically, you’re signing your rights away.  Basically, you’re signing away any ability you have to accomplish what we try to do for people, which is find out what happened, analyze exactly what happened, and then try to seek justice for whoever it is that we’re representing.