May 24, 2017
Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305-670-1101 Ext. 1023
FEDERAL ARBITRATION ACT REQUIRES COURTS TO PLACE PREDISPUTE
ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS USED IN NURSING HOMES
ON EQUAL FOOTING WITH OTHER CONTRACTS
WASHINGTON, DC – Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A.’s, Louisville, Kentucky office partner, Donald L. Miller, II, managing partner of the Kentucky offices, petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court through filings of amici curiae on behalf of numerous healthcare industry participants concerned with the enforcement of arbitration agreements covering tort disputes that will require lengthy and costly litigation over arbitration agreements’ enforceability.
QPWB coordinated industry support to file Amicus Curiae briefs to support the Kindred petitioners, and authored the briefs eventually filed in both the petition for writ and merits of the argument stages.
The Kindred Nursing Centers Limited Partnership v. Clark, U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 16-32, arose from 3 Kentucky cases (Clark v. Kindred, Wellner v. Kindred and Whisman v. Extendicare), in which nursing home defendants attempted to enforce predispute arbitration contracts after their resident’s estates filed state court lawsuits for alleged negligent care. QPWB’s Kentucky offices represented the Kindred defendants in two cases in the Kentucky circuit (trial) court, where the trial court denied enforcement. QPWB then represented Kindred throughout the appellate process in the Kentucky Court of Appeals and on consolidated appeal to the Supreme Court of Kentucky. When the state Supreme Court released its opinion, published at Extendicare Homes, Inc. v. Whisman, 478 S.W.3d 306 (Ky. 2016), the firm encouraged the nursing home defendants to appeal the cases to the U.S. Supreme Court based upon the belief the Kentucky Court’s opinion overtly violated the Federal Arbitration Act and federal substantive arbitration law, by unfairly discriminating against predispute arbitration agreements in long-term care settings. At the U.S. Supreme Court level, QPWB coordinated industry support to file Amicus Curiae briefs in support of the Kindred petitioners, and authored the briefs eventually filed in both the petition for writ and merits of the argument stages. The resulting reversal of Whisman’s “clear statement” rule of law constitutes a huge victory for the long-term care industry, as the land’s highest Court struck down Kentucky’s continuing, hostile attempts to avoid enforcing valid arbitration contracts between nursing homes and legal representatives acting lawfully and voluntarily on behalf of their residents.
The industry amicus curiae briefs drafted by QPWB provided valuable assistance by presenting important background on legal arguments, as well as the enormity of impact the Court’s ruling could have on long-term care providers in Kentucky and across the United States.