Justia Arbitration & Mediation Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Florida Supreme Court
Laizure v. Avante at Leesburg, Inc.
A nursing home patient (Decedent) signed an agreement providing for arbitration of disputes arising out of treatment and care at the nursing home. Decedent subsequently died, allegedly through the nursing home's negligence. Through Decedent's personal representative, Decedent's survivors (Plaintiffs) subsequently brought a cause of action for deprivation of rights under the applicable nursing home statute and, alternatively, a wrongful death action. At issue on appeal was whether an arbitration agreement signed by the decedent requires his estate and heirs to arbitrate their wrongful death claims. The court of appeal concluded that the estate and heirs were bound by the arbitration agreement but certified a question to the Supreme Court. The Court approved of the court of appeal's decision and answered that the execution of a nursing home arbitration agreement by a patient with capacity to contract binds the patient's estate and statutory heirs in a subsequent wrongful death action arising from an alleged tort within the scope of the valid arbitration agreement. View "Laizure v. Avante at Leesburg, Inc." on Justia Law
Jackson v. Shakespeare Found., Inc.
Petitioners and Respondents entered into a contract for the purchase of real property owned by Petitioners, twenty-five percent of which constituted wetlands. Respondents filed an action against Petitioners for fraudulent misrepresentation, alleging that in the advertisement for the sale of the property, Petitioners knowingly and falsely misrepresented that the property had no wetlands. Petitioners moved to dismiss, asserting that the fraud claim arose out of, and was related to, the contract, and therefore, the claim fell within the arbitration provision of the contract. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss. The court of appeal reversed, holding that the action based on fraud was not a dispute subject to arbitration under the contract. The Supreme Court quashed the decision below and concluded that the fraud action had a contractual nexus with, and a significant relationship to, the contract between Petitioners and Respondents and was, as a general principle, within the scope of the contract's broad arbitration provision. Remanded. View "Jackson v. Shakespeare Found., Inc." on Justia Law
Gessa, etc. v. Manor Care of Florida, Inc., et al.
Petitioner filed suit against respondent, alleging negligence, violation of resident's rights, and breach of fiduciary duty. Respondent moved to compel arbitration. Petitioner raised several issues on appeal. The court held that its decision was controlled in part by Shotts v. OP Winter Haven, Inc., another nursing home arbitration case. Pursuant to the court's reasoning in that case, the court held that the district court erred in the following respects: (i) in ruling that the limitation of liability provisions in this case, which placed a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages and waived punitive damages, were severable; (ii) in failing to rule that the court, not the arbitrator, must decide whether the arbitration agreement violated public policy; and (iii) in failing to rule that the above limitation of liability provisions violated public policy. The court also held that the United States Supreme Court decision in Rent-A-Center, West. Inc. v. Jackson was inapplicable. View "Gessa, etc. v. Manor Care of Florida, Inc., et al." on Justia Law
Shotts, etc. v. OP Winter Haven, Inc., et al.
Petitioner, as personal representative of her uncle's estate, filed a complaint against respondent alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary duties. Respondent moved to compel arbitration based on an agreement petitioner had signed on her uncle's admission. The court held that the district court erred in failing to rule that the court, not the arbitrator, must decide whether the arbitration agreement violated public policy. The court also held that the district court erred in failing to rule that the limitations of remedies provisions in this case violated public policy, for they undermined specific statutory remedies created by the Legislature. The court further held that the district court erred in ruling that the limitations of remedies provisions that called for imposition of the American Health Lawyer Association rules was severable. The court finally concluded that the United States Supreme Court's recent decision in Rent-A-Center, West, Inc. v. Jackson was inapplicable. View "Shotts, etc. v. OP Winter Haven, Inc., et al." on Justia Law