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⭒ New Developments

Waiving Patients’ Legal Rights is NOT a Health Care Decision: Logan v. Country Oaks

new Second Appellate District opinion has found that health care agents designated under an Advance Health Care Directive do not have the authority to bind principals to binding arbitration agreements.  In making this finding, the Court expressly overturned the Garrison v. Superior Court decision, which ruled that health care agents could bind principals to arbitration agreements.

In Logan, the Court determined “the decision to waive a jury trial and instead engage in binding arbitration . . . is not a health care decision. Rather it is a decision about how disputes over health care decisions will be resolved.” The Court also found it important that both state and federal law require nursing homes to keep admission agreements (related to receiving health care) separate from arbitration agreements (not related to receiving health care) and prohibit arbitration agreements from being made a condition of receiving care.

Much of the Logan court’s reasoning resembles arguments made by CANHR in the Winter 2019 edition of its Legal Network News (page 11, “Garrison and Hogan Are Wrong: Why Health Care Agents Cannot Bind Principals to Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements”). The Logan decision brings long-needed common sense to California’s long term care facility arbitration jurisprudence and aligns it with several other states. Litigation, trials, and legal dispute resolution are not health care.