It is common for a relative of a nursing home resident to complete the paperwork during the resident’s admission. In a recent case, the Second District agreed with the Fifth District that the resident is not bound by an arbitration agreement signed by a relative as financial guarantor.
In this case, the resident had lived in the nursing home for 10 months before his death. His estate sued the nursing home for negligence. The nursing home moved to compel arbitration based on language in the resident admission and financial agreement. The trial court originally ordered arbitration but subsequently rescinded that order.
The district court found that the trial court probably based its decision on Perry v. Sovereign Healthcare of Metro W. In Perry, the Fifth District found that the resident’s daughter signed as responsible party and financial guarantor but did not sign on behalf of her father. With no one signing on her behalf, the resident was not bound by the agreement. Furthermore, there was no evidence that the resident was incompetent and no evidence that the daughter had the authority to bind her mother to an arbitration agreement.