Order Allow,Deny Deny from all Are there alternatives to litigation in a Florida nursing home abuse case? | Jay Cooper Law Office

Attorney at Law since 1986

Florida Circuit Civil Mediator & Qualified Arbitrator


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One of the great things about the Florida Residence Rights, Chapter 400 Nursing Home statute, is that there is a pre-suit requirement that a person who wants to bring a nursing home on behalf of themselves, or their resident, actually participate in the chapter 400 pre-suit process. What that means is, if you come to me as a potential client, with a nursing home case for yourself or your mom or your dad, or some relative. If we make a determination that the case is real and viable, then we have to notify the other side. Before any lawsuit can be filed, we have to participate in a pre-suit process that is statutorily 75 days, but in actual experience often runs about 6 months.

The great thing about this pre-suit process is nobody files a lawsuit, and in my experience, more often than not, nursing home cases are settled in pre-suit mediation, which is required under chapter 400, Florida Statutes, and something called the Torte Reform Act of 1999. If you have a viable nursing home case, the chances are that it will not actually find its way into the form of a lawsuit. In my experience, about 60% of the nursing home cases these days are settled in a pre-suit process through mediation.

Additionally, and unfortunately for many residents and plaintiffs, many nursing home contracts have arbitration clauses in the actual contract for services. This means that you don’t go to court, you end up with a case decided by an arbitrator, or 3 arbitrators, depending upon how the contract reads. It is an alternative to the court system. Mediation is much more preferable because the parties get to decide how the case gets settled.