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MA’s Highest Court Rules that Health Care Agents Cannot Bind Patients to Arbitration

The Massachusetts high court has ruled that an agent named in a health care proxy does not have authority to agree to arbitration on behalf of a nursing home resident. Johnson v. Kindred Health Care (Mass., No. SJC-11335, Jan. 13, 2014) and Licata v. GGNSC Malden Dexter LLC (Mass., No. SJC-11336, Jan. 13, 2014). The plaintiffs in both cases sought damages for alleged nursing home malpractice, but the nursing homes moved to dismiss their claims, arguing that, because the residents’ health care agents had signed arbitration agreements, the claims must be determined by an arbitrator rather than by a jury.

Click here to continue reading Rebecca J. Benson’s article.

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