Previously, the New York Times published a comprehensive series regarding arbitration stripping away and prohibiting many rights of consumers. I have written about this in the past and the New York Times article and subsequent editorial can be found here.
The New York Times just published another article which serves as a horrific example of how nursing homes can neglect patients and then cover up their misdeeds with forced arbitration. This is an unbelievable illustration of the vast reach the damage these fine print contracts cause. http://nyti.ms/20NhGeE
Attorney Paul Bland @FPBland of Public Justice is a nationally recognized consumer law attorney with focused expertise and in-depth knowledge regarding arbitration. Here is a blog post he wrote last fall that has a link to Public Justice’s comments to CMS (the agency that runs Medicaid and Medicare) urging it to ban the use of forced arbitration clauses by nursing homes, or else they would not be eligible for public funds. The comments, written by staff attorney Leslie Bailey, submitted to CMS are extremely substantive and powerful.
According to Paul, the New York Times has done a great service to consumers, with its ongoing powerful coverage.
Our best advice to consumers is to always be aware of what you are signing and to protect your consumer rights as best as you can. Always avoid signing any contract or document that contains an arbitration clause if at all possible. Finally, ask yourself why the merchant or business you are about to use won’t stand behind its service or product if they are demanding that you sign an arbitration agreement while you are purchasing their service or product.
Ron Sykstus is a Managing Partner of several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arizona, Tucson, and a Juris Doctorate from the Northern Illinois University College of Law. Ron has served in numerous positions throughout the U.S. Army and now utilizes his expertise in the areas of VA issues, security clearances, military law, and bankruptcy to assist his clients when they need it most. Read his full bio here.