Often, when people go to the hospital for an acute issue, they are asked to fill out certain documents and forms prior to being admitted or treated. Many people sign such materials in haste, without thoroughly reading their terms. Such decisions can be costly, however, as hospital admission documents often contain provisions impacting patient rights in the event of a dispute or harm arising out of incompetent care. This was demonstrated recently in a ruling issued by a New York court in a hospital malpractice case, in which the court affirmed an order compelling the plaintiff to arbitrate a dispute with a hospital. If you were injured due to negligent care you received in a hospital, it is smart to speak to a Rochester hospital malpractice lawyer regarding your rights.
Facts of the Case
It is alleged that the plaintiff visited the defendant hospital for an unspecified concern and was admitted for treatment. Prior to her admission, she completed and signed numerous documents, including a document referred to as an admission agreement in capital letters and a document referred to as an arbitration agreement. She subsequently experienced complications due to her treatment and filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting numerous claims, including medical malpractice. The defendant moved to compel arbitration.
Compulsory Arbitration in Medical Malpractice Cases
The court granted the motion. The court was not persuaded by the plaintiff’s conflicting arguments that she did not sign the arbitration agreement or that she believed it to be the admission agreement. The court explained that the two agreements were signed at different times, and their headings were clear, removing any chance of confusion. Additionally, a forensic expert examined the arbitration agreement and determined that it did, in fact, contain her signature. Continue reading