Nursing Home Neglect Case
Poulin | Willey | Anastopoulo Notches win at Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Nursing Home Neglect Case
CHARLESTON, SC (7.26.2022) – Poulin | Willey | Anastopoulo d/b/a Anastopoulo Law Firm represents the Estate of Ralph Owens against Seneca Health and Rehabilitation Center, SAVASENIORCARE, LLC, for a lack of adequate care while he was residing at Defendants’ facility. In this nursing home neglect case, the complaint alleges understaffing and lack of adequate care led to Mr. Owens suffering a traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage, and fracture of his left hip, leading to his death.
Attorneys from Poulin | Willey | Anastopoulo alleged in the Complaint, “[t]hat while residing at Defendants’ facility, the decedent was damaged and injured, and eventually died as a result of abuse, neglect, negligence, custodial neglect, and violations of the standards of care for nursing” (Compl., D.S.C. Case No. 8:21-cv-00430-HMH).
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a win on July 26th, affirming the District Court of South Carolina’s decision denying Defendant’s motion to dismiss and to compel arbitration.
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Defendants argued that the Estate and its heirs were not entitled to a trial by jury because the wife of the deceased had signed an arbitration agreement. They argued Mr. Owens’ wife had apparent authority or agency to sign the arbitration agreement or, in the alternative, that it was merged into the other agreements and therefore equitable estoppel applied. The District Court disagreed, noting “that the Facility has failed to submit sufficient evidence that Wife had the authority to sign the Arbitration Agreement on Owen’s behalf” and it was their burden to do so.
Poulin | Willey | Anastopoulo partner and attorney for the Estate of Ralph Owens, Roy T. Willey, IV, said, “Clearly, a third party cannot waive a person’s Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury, without authority from that person to do so, whether they be married or not. Arbitration takes away the ability of regular folks to face huge corporations in front of a jury of their peers, and these agreements negatively affect injured people. We are thankful the Fourth Circuit saw through Defendants’ transparent attempts to delay justice in this matter but deciding their appeal without oral argument, and look forward to obtaining full justice for Mr. Owens’ loved ones.”
Ultimately, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals three Judge Panel agreed with the Estate and the District Court.
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