In a very unsurprising decision, the Supreme Court ruled 7-1 that a Kentucky nursing home can enforce contracts signed residents’ relatives that required all disputes involving the nursing home to arbitration. The relatives had only been authorized to sign the admission documents. In other words, Kentucky could not require a separate power of attorney related only to the signing of an arbitration agreement.
Kentucky’s highest court refused to enforce the agreements, saying the relatives lacked the power to waive a “divine God-given right” to a jury trial.
The nursing home argued that federal arbitration law preempts state laws that protect the right to sue in court.