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Civil Procedure Keyed to Subrin
Kindred Nursing Centers Limited Partnership v. Clark
Citation:137 S. Ct. 1421 (2017)
When Plaintiffs moved their loved ones into a nursing home operated by Defendant, each held a power of attorney used to complete all the paperwork. Each signed a contract on her relative’s behalf agreeing to arbitrate any disputes arising out of living at Defendant. When both relatives died the following year, Plaintiffs brought separate lawsuits on behalf of their loved ones, alleging Defendant provided substandard care resulting in their deaths. Defendant attempted to dismiss the lawsuits on the ground that arbitration precluded them, but the Kentucky courts found both arbitration agreements invalid. Specifically, the Kentucky Supreme Court found that because the state constitution guarantees an inviolate right to a jury trial, a power of attorney must clearly state the agent may deprive the principal of that right to do so. The court concluded that clear-statement rule complied with the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) even though it treated entering arbitration agreements differently than other types of contracts. The U.S. Supreme Court granted review.
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