OUR OFFICE HAS MOVED TO A NEW LOCATION
We have moved to new offices to better serve you, but remain the same great law firm with the same mission statement of providing our clients the best legal representation and "making a difference one case at a time". Our new address is: Park Square Building, Suite 200, 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044.
MR. AHLSTROM SPEAKS AT THE MARYLAND STATE BAR ASSOCIATION 2009 SUMMER CONFERENCE
Mr. Ahlstrom was a speaker at a seminar sponsored by the Elder Law Section of the Maryland State Bar Association's 2009 summer conference in Ocean City. His topic was entitled "Negligence in the Long Term Care Setting, Representing the Victims". The MSBA is a non-profit organization whose membership is made up of more than 23,000 attorneys and judges.
Addressing a room full of Elder Law Attorneys, Mr. Ahlstrom spoke about his representation of the victims, and their families, who have suffered as a result of negligence and abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In a statement that summarized Mr. Ahlstrom's philosophy of practice, he said: "To effectively represent the elderly who, in many ways are the most vulnerable and susceptible to the evils of neglect and abuse, the litigator should, in addition to his/her litigation skills, have a LOVE, an empathy, for those folks, to see them not as useless castaways, but rather as full members of the human family who deserve basic human dignity and competent care."
BINDING ARBITRATION CLAUSES - WATCH OUT!
In ever increasing numbers, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are including Binding Arbitration Clauses within their Admission Contracts. In short, binding arbitration clauses require that all legal disputes that may develop between the resident and the facility, including personal injury and death alleged to have been caused by the facility's negligence or abuse, be submitted to binding arbitration. In agreeing to binding arbitration, the resident waives his fundamental right to bring a legal claim in court, including his right to a jury trial. Rather, his claim must be submitted to a private arbitrator for decision.
Why are nursing homes and assisted living facilities including binding arbitration clauses in their admission contracts? The answer is clear. The process of Binding Arbitration favors facilities over their residents. When facilities have caused injury and death by their wrongdoing, they have little to fear from a professional arbitrator. Nursing homes and other long term care facilities do, however, fear juries.
After suffering injury, residents and their families invariably regret that they agreed to binding arbitration. Often, they do not even remember that binding arbitration had been included in the admission contract. At the Law Firm of Robert D. Ahlstrom, P.A., we strongly believe that Binding Arbitration Clauses, particularly in the context of nursing home admission contracts, are reprehensible. They prey upon vulnerable folks and their families who, under the stresses of the admission process, fail to appreciate the valuable legal rights stripped from them by agreeing to binding arbitration.
Be on the lookout for Binding Arbitration Clauses in nursing home and other long term care contracts, and seek legal advice.