The Supreme Court overturned a decision by the West Virginia Supreme Court to allow lawsuits against nursing homes despite binding arbitration clauses. Three malpractice suits for wrongful death had been filed against WV nursing homes, despite the fact they or their loved ones signed a binding arbitration agreement. The Supreme Court found that in these cases the consumer does not have the right to go to court, thus limiting the rights of injured consumers.
This ruling affirms the 1925 Federal Arbitration Act, which gives businesses almost unlimited rights to include arbitration clauses in their contracts. Discovery of these clauses are often limited and most do not think of going to court when signing papers to stay at the nursing home. Often times, residents are in pain and distress, coming straight from a hospital, when they sign a nursing contract. This is clearly an infringement on everyone’s constitutional rights in the 7th Amendment and many do not even know it.