• Wade Scott

Preserve Your Right to Appeal for a Jury Trial

I review nursing home and assisted living admission contracts for my Elder Law clients fairly regularly. I just read language in a contract that I have never seen before. The section was titled "Binding Arbitration". Arbitration provisions are common in admission contracts. It is against Federal law to require binding arbitration as a prerequisite to admission to a facility. The parties can agree to it, as long as it is voluntary. https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/cms-finalizes-rules-on-nursing-home-43605/

The part of the section that jumped off the page was the requirement to elect yes or no as to the right to demand a jury trial upon appeal. The Delaware Constitution guarantees the right to a jury trial in certain types of cases. https://www.delawgroup.com/delaware-trial-handbook-%C2%A7-61-the-right-to-trial-by-jury-in-civil-cases/ A party to litigation in Superior Court (general trial court) has the right to demand a jury trial. https://codes.findlaw.com/de/title-10-courts-and-judicial-procedure/de-code-sect-10-1328.html

Simply put, consult legal counsel before you waive your right to appeal an arbitration decision or to demand a jury trial in the context of signing an admission contract to a long term care facility.

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