Thursday, March 3, 2016

Arbitration for the Dead, But Court for the Living

Monschke v. Timber Ridge Assisted Living, LLC, No. A144289 (D1d1 Jan 29, 2016)
 

As they told us in first year torts, a wrongful death claim is not just a continuation of the decedent’s claim for wrongly causing his or her death. It is a separate claim to vindicate the separate rights of the survivors themselves. So a decedent’s agreement to arbitrate is generally not binding on his or her survivors. Which basically resolves the case here. A deceased nursing home patient’s heirs, suing for wrongful death, could not be bound to an arbitration clause in the nursing home agreement that was signed on behalf of the decedent.

Affirmed.

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