Happy Holidays 2023, Now Is The Time, Wade's Words

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.

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. A party to litigation in Superior Court (general trial court) has the right to demand a jury trial.
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.