A South Carolina nursing facility attempted to avoid accountability by forcing the family of a neglected resident to arbitrate the claim. Luckily, our client fought back and challenged the enforceability of the arbitration clause in the admission paperwork.
While Hilda Stott did sign the document on behalf of her uncle, Jolly Davis, she did not have the proper authority to make the decision, and was not bound by it, the South Carolina Court of Appeals ruled. We are proud to represent this family and look forward to discovering the truth of his death and get justice for the family.
Davis first entered White Oak of Spartanburg, SC, in January 2013. Niece Stott signed all admission forms on his behalf, despite her uncle possessing intact mental functioning and alertness. He died weeks later and Stott sued, alleging overmedication and dehydration led to his death.
White Oak attempted to enforce arbitration, but the niece’s durable power of attorney for finance did not give her the authority to sign the original agreement because that power was not in place when Davis entered the home. The healthcare power of attorney designation also did not grant the niece the authority to sign an arbitration pact, the court deemed. That’s because the form used was only effective upon Davis becoming mentally incompetent, which he was not at the time of admission.
White Oak Manor Inc and its subsidiaries/agents have asked the Court of Appeals to reconsider their well-reasoned decision.