Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a rule rescinding an Obama-era regulation prohibiting nursing homes from requiring patients and their families to sign binding arbitration agreements. Signing those agreements, which are frequently part of admission paperwork, means giving up the right to sue a facility.
Obama knew seniors should not be forced to leave their right to legal recourse at the nursing home door. He knew arbitration agreements make current and future residents less safe. They prevent homes from being held publicly responsible for wrongdoing.
Settling disputes in secret means seniors and their families looking for a good home cannot know how many complaints or the nature of complaints lodged against a facility.
It was no surprise that the senior living industry opposed the rule for facilities paid by Medicare or Medicaid, taxpayer-financed programs that provide a large chunk of their revenue. In an attempt to protect homes from potential lawsuits brought by residents, the industry challenged the regulation by, ironically, filing its own lawsuit against the federal government. That prevented the rule from going into effect. And now the industry has a friend in the White House.
Des Moines Register EDITORIAL: Trump protects nursing homes at seniors' expense
Bernie Madoff rots in prison, tortured by one question: "Why, Oh why didn't I just use forced arbitration clauses! I could still be raking it in!"
Criminal Bank Seeks to Use Forced Arbitration to Avoid Justice
After Promising to Make Things Right, Wells Fargo Asks Judge to Kick Defrauded Consumers out of Court
June 6, 2017
Contact: Amanda Werner, email@example.com, (202) 973-8004
Tomorrow, a federal judge in Utah will decide whether more than 50 consumers defrauded by banking giant Wells Fargo in its fake account scandal will be forced to pursue claims one-by-one in a secret arbitration system. As the bank loudly promises to restore consumer trust, Wells Fargo is quietly insisting that defrauded customers should be barred from holding it accountable in court by pointing to “ripoff clauses” buried deep in its contracts.
Customers represented in Mitchell v. Wells Fargo argue that the bank cannot use its contracts as a shield against liability for systemic fraud. While forced arbitration has been upheld in many contexts, the customers claim they could not reasonably understand that signing a standard agreement for one product would block them from suing over a separate account they never agreed to open. Indeed, at least one consumer represented in this class action never even banked with Wells Fargo or signed an account contract.
Experts from the Fair Arbitration Now (FAN) coalition are available to comment on this hearing, as well as a forthcoming rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that would restrict the use of arbitration clauses in future consumer financial contracts. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with an expert in the FAN coalition.
Sponsored in part by John Gear Law Office
Come hear the story about what happens when politicians in one of the most advanced nations in the world decide that the answer to social unrest and economic woes are nationalism and militarism rather than justice and the rule of law.
Every single seat should be filled for this talk. If you have a teen or young adult close to you, bring them with you so they can hear -- as will only be possible for a few more years -- from a survivor of what happens when a mighty nation is more concerned with being feared for its power than respected for its wisdom.
This is well worth a 20 minute look and then taking action by commenting in support of STRONG, ENFORCEABLE NET NEUTRALITY BASED ON TITLE II of the FCC Act of 1934
Great resource for unbiased financial literacy and consumer protection education: The FoolProof Foundation.
Wells Fargo: Wanting to Appear Contrite, While Just Doing More Fraud
The insistence by Wells Fargo that the victims of its bogus account-opening scandal seek redress via arbitration, rather than in court, remains the best indication that the bank’s promise to “make things right” for those customers is fake.
Northwest Hub is putting together 40 complete reclaimed bicycles and kit sets (lights, locks, helmets, etc.) for use by some of Salem's new residents, resettled refugees. $100 gives a new neighbor a way to get to school and work and on the path to independence and success. Join John Gear Law Office in supporting this great community nonprofit venture.
John Gear is a Salem attorney in solo practice