Happy New Year! NAF Notes Important Healthcare ADR Cases of 2007

January 14, 2008


             [Image: “Happy New Year To You”, a 1908 postcard with artwork showing a frog holding a bottle of champagne with the cork popping.]

            Happy New Year!  I return to blogging after some time off for the holidays and to get my new business life in order.
            Thank you to Christina Doucet, Communications Specialist at the National Arbitration Forum, for bringing to my attention that four of the eighteen ADR cases identified as “most significant” by the Forum\’s 2007 ADR Law & Policy Year in Review are healthcare arbitration cases.  Significantly, all four of these decisions affirm the enforceability of arbitration agreements in cases of alleged medical malpractice or mistreatment of patients by a healthcare facility.  The cases are Reigelsperger v. Siller, 150 P.3d 764 (Cal. 2007), Covenant Health Rehab of Picayune, L.P. v. Brown, 949 So. 2d 732 (Miss. 2007), Hogan v. Country Villa Health Services, 55 Cal. Rptr. 3d 450 (Cal. Ct. App. 2007), and Owens v. National Health Corp., No. M2005-01272-SC-R11-CV, 2007 WL 3284669 (Tenn. Nov. 8, 2007).
            It will be interesting to see if cases decided in 2008 follow this pattern.  Even more interesting will be the success of certain legislative efforts (such as the “Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007”) now being directed at protecting consumers from pre-dispute arbitration contracts – and which no doubt will be applied to patient/resident complaints such as those in the cases cited by the Forum.  Stay tuned.