Federal Government Announces New Rule That Abused/Neglected Residents of Nursing Homes Be Allowed Their Right to a Jury Trial

According to the New York Times, on September 28, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") restored a fundamental right of millions of elderly and/or disabled Americans -- their right to a jury trial. CMS "issued a rule that bars any nursing home that receives federal funding from requiring that its residents resolve any disputes in arbitration, instead of court." Until now, nursing home residents were frequently forced to sign contracts where they agree to compulsory arbitration of all claims--surrendering their right to a jury trial. Just like all consumers with credit card agreements and utility bills--big business has imposed compulsory arbitration clause in the usual consumer-business contracts all of us typically agree to. These arbitration clauses are generally buried in small print on one page of a lengthy consumer contract.

It has long been known that when personal injury claims are forced into arbitration, the plaintiff has a smaller chance of success and, even if successful, arbitrators are less likely than jurors, to award full and fair compensation. The New York Times noted that: "A case involving a 100 year old woman who was found murdered in a nursing home, strangled by her roommate, was initially blocked from court. So was a case brought by the family of a 94 year old woman who died at a nursing home from a head wound." Arbitrators, not jurors decided these cases, and now the Nursing Home industry is howling about this new federal regulation which they fear will reduce their profit margins. They want the federal funding but fear the loss of a huge advantage arbitration brings to big business.

In 1984 the New York State legislature passed General Business Law Section 399-c which prohibits mandatory arbitration clause in consumer contracts for the purchase of goods or services intended for personal use. This law would have prevented nursing homes from taking advantage of its residents who had no option but to sign away their right to a jury trial. However, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925, pre-empted any state legislation that sought to preserve the consumer's right to a jury trial. It is quite likely the Nursing Home industry will file suit to challenge this new regulation.

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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