Appellate Panel Decides Man Should Not Have to Arbitrate His Claims Against A Nursing Home

July 31, 2013

A new ruling from the Arizona Court of Appeals could help some people avoid forced arbitration of disputes. The agreement to use arbitration is many times part of the small type on your cell phone plan or banking statement. Attorney Mike Wright says there's a reason companies like arbitration.

“Industry studies show that arbitration awards are about 29 percent lower than jury awards on average, everything else being equal,” Wright said.

The courts, in general, have upheld arbitration agreements. But, the appellate panel Tuesday decided an 88-year-old man should not have to arbitrate his claim against a nursing home, at a cost of $400-an-hour for the arbitrators. That would have cost Wright's client about $23,000. Unless the decision is reversed, the man can now pursue the case in court, with an attorney who is willing to charge him only if he wins.