Earlier this month, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania—the state’s intermediate appellate court—upheld a decision made by a lower court upholding an arbitration award of over $9,000. That award reportedly went to a uniform and linen supply company who had contracted with a muffler and brake company. The linen company ended up returning the muffler company’s check due to insufficient funds and requested instead payment by certified check or cash.
When it comes to resolving employment-related disputes, many companies have determined that a resolution in arbitration is desirable. Ideally, arbitration is less expensive and more final. It gives the employee an opportunity to have grievances heard by someone other than management, and it gives the company a more private resolution without the risk of negative publicity.
In our previous post, we began looking at a new rule passed by the federal Department of Health and Human Services which prohibits nursing homes from requiring residents to sign arbitration agreements. The rule is aimed at addressing the fact that such agreements are often enforceable in court, even though residents may sign them at a time when they are desperate for long-term, full time care.
Nursing home care is something most Americans have to deal with at some point, whether for a relative or loved one, or for themselves. For many, there can be apprehensiveness about entrusting oneself or a loved one to nursing home care, not only because it is a new environment, but because we know that things can go wrong in nursing home care, that the quality of care isn’t always high.
As we’ve pointed out before on this blog, mediation is not always successful. A recent example of this involves major casino outfit Caesars Entertainment Operating Co Inc (CEOC), which filed for bankruptcy in January 2015, claiming that Caesars Entertainment Corp, its parent company, and two private equity sponsors had claimed valuable assets owned by the company.
For adult children, obtaining quality long-term care for an aging parent is something to take very seriously, something that warrants significant time and attention. Not all nursing care facilities provide the level of care that they are expected to provide, particularly given the ever-increasing costs of care. When seeking admission of an elderly parent for care, more and more adult children are coming across agreements which require disputes to be resolved not in court but in some form of alternative dispute resolution, typically private arbitration.
Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution which involves the use of a neutral arbitrator to review the evidence and render a decision which is legally binding for both parties. Arbitration can be used to resolve a variety of disputes, including construction disputes, family law disputes, and disputes between consumers and businesses.
Pennsylvania readers may remember the story of Sandra Bland, the woman who died last year in a Texas county jail cell after being arrested for a minor traffic violation. The death was classified a suicide, but critics said law enforcement handled the situation improperly by failing to put Bland on suicide watch, failing to check on her, and not taking other precautions to prevent death by suicide.
Last time, we briefly addressed the enforceability of arbitration awards. To recap: arbitration awards are legally binding and enforceable once they are confirmed by the court, but they may be modified, corrected or vacated after confirmation, depending on the circumstances of the case. Those who have been involved in an arbitration proceeding and who feel the outcome was not proper, for one reason or another, should work with an experienced attorney to have the matter properly addressed.
In our last post, we took a look at the issue of confidentiality in mediation and arbitration. As we noted, confidentiality is a central aspect of mediation, whereas it is generally not a characteristic of arbitration, though it may be in some circumstances. In addition to confidentiality, there is also the issue of enforceability, which is different in both mediation and arbitration.