Tuesday August 2, 2011
Only the resident signed the arbitration provisions contained
in the admission agreement. Suit was filed before her death and
later amended to include wrongful death. Although currently on
appeal before the 11th circuit, the trial court ruled
that a personal representative of a resident's estate cannot be
compelled to arbitration. They opined that Alabama courts have
consistently held that wrongful death claims do not belong to a
decedent (Ala. Code § 6-5-462). As such, her wrongful death claim
belongs to the person representative because as a survival action,
the claim would have belonged to the decedent through her estate.
The outcome is currently pending on appeal but may have far
reaching results. Stay tuned.