Arbitration agreements often come in situations involving personal injury lawsuits. Many people do not take the time to read what they are signing and, in most situations, they do not have an option to negotiate the terms of the deal. One of the most common places that arbitration agreements arise involves rehabilitation facilities or nursing homes. If you or a loved one was injured in one of these facilities and you signed an arbitration agreement, it is critical that you speak with a diligent Chicago personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
A recent case from the Illinois Court of Appeal examined an arbitration agreement signed by a person who was admitted to a rehabilitation facility. The plaintiff alleged that he fell out of bed as a result of the negligence of the facility and that he suffered injuries as a result. In response to the lawsuit, the defendant facility filed a motion to dismiss and pointed to the arbitration agreement that the plaintiff signed. The agreement stated that the parties would arbitrate any claims of negligence arising from the plaintiff’s stay at the facility. The facility also filed a motion to compel arbitration. It also provided affidavits from two employees stating that the plaintiff signed the contract and that the plaintiff appeared to be of sound mind when discussing the agreement and signing them.
In response to the motion to compel arbitration, the plaintiff alleged that the agreement was unenforceable because there was no evidence showed that the facility was a party to the arbitration agreement. The facility had undergone administrative changes and a name change since the plaintiff signed the arbitration agreement. The plaintiff also argued that it was unenforceable on the basis that it was signed under duress and due to the unfair bargaining power between the parties.