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Dear Advocate…
I’ve heard that it is a bad idea to sign an arbitration agreement, but I’m worried that the facility won’t admit my father unless I sign it.


Dear Advocate:

My father will be moving into Assisted Living, and the facility gave me a large stack of documents to sign. The documents include an admission contract with an arbitration agreement. I’ve heard that it is a bad idea to sign an arbitration agreement, but I’m worried that the facility won’t admit my father unless I sign it. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Concerned in Concord

Dear Concerned in Concord:

You are correct – it is a very bad idea to give up your right to go to Court in advance of a dispute, and especially when arbitrators often have a pro-business bias. If arbitration makes sense for you, you can agree to arbitrate after a dispute arises and you have time to consider whether arbitration is the best way to vindicate your rights and get compensated for injuries.

Consumers need to be particularly cautious when signing their admission contracts. Many facilities, particularly larger facilities and those owned by corporate chains, include pre-dispute arbitration agreements in their admission contracts.

To learn more about arbitration agreements and your rights, including tips for avoiding or voiding arbitration agreements, visit CANHR’s arbitration webpage and read our arbitration fact sheet.

Page Last Modified: December 11, 2015