A Florida nursing home has devised a scheme to deny its residents important rights before they even move into the facility. A Florida Appellate Court found that the nursing home effectively buried an agreement requiring arbitration and limiting liability in a package of documents that the resident’s daughter was asked to sign while her father was on route from the hospital to the home. Holding the agreement unconscionable the Court said it could not be enforced. The issue arose in a wrongful death action against the nursing home.
The opinion can be found at 31 Fla. L. Weekly D10a. A summary follows:
Unconscionability of admission agreement containing provisions for arbitration and limitation of liability — Agreement amounted to a degree of procedural unconscionability where agreement was in package of numerous documents which decedent’s daughter was asked to sign while her father was on route from hospital to nursing home, and terms of the agreement were never explained to her — Agreement was substantively unconscionable where agreement limited non-economic damages, barred punitive damages and attorney’s fees, and restricted access to discovery necessary to prove statutory violations — Error to enter order enforcing agreement and compelling arbitration