McKnight’s reported on a recent appeal of an arbitration decision in favor of the nursing home resident. I find it funny that the nursing home industry pushes for arbitration because it is “cheaper” “faster” and “will provide closure” but still appeals the arbitrator’s decision!
Villa Huntington Drive Healthcare Center neglected Patricia Porter’s avoidable pressure injury causing her wrongful death. Her doctor had ordered a low-air mattress to help prevent and heal a severe pressure ulcer. The order was made on July 4, 2012 but the mattress did not arrive until July 12. Caregivers failed to alleviate the pressure by turning and repositioning Porter adequately, and left her sitting in a wheelchair for six hours, further worsening her injuries. She died in November 2012 from a septic sore and urinary infections.
After listening to all the relevant evidence introduced, the arbitrator awarded the resident and her family $1 million. California’s arbitration awards can be reviewed by a court in limited circumstances, but the California Court of Appeal, Second District, deemed that the case did not meet those requirements. That’s because AG Arcadia did not identify any unwaivable statutory rights that the $1 million award violated, Bloomberg reported.
An appeals court ruled that an arbitrator did not exceed her authority by awarding the patient damages in excess of the $250,000 cap contained in the state’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, Bloomberg Law reported.
According to court documents, the facility had argued that the arbitrator exceeded her powers by awarding non-economic damages in lump sums, rather than in proportion to each defendant’s percentage of fault. It also contended that the arbitrator failed to make any findings against parent company AG Arcadia and its facilities.
Huntington Drive Health also asserted that the arbitrator was prejudiced in the matter and did not grant the SNF added time to present testimony from treating nurses and its medical expert, according to court documents.