Published on:

Corum v. Roswell Senior Living, LLC (149 N.M. 287, 248 P.3d 329)

New-Mexico-nursing-home-neglect-elderly-300x200Articles: New Mexico

Corum v. Roswell Senior Living, LLC (149 N.M. 287, 248 P.3d 329)

CASE:
Corum v. Roswell Senior Living, LLC (149 N.M. 287, 248 P.3d 329)
PARTIES:
Plaintiff (Appellee) – Sherri Corum, Personal Representative of the beneficiaries of Mary Jo Herbert (deceased)
Defendant (Appellant) – Roswell Senior Living, LLC.
COURT:
Court of Appeals of New Mexico (2010)
PROCEDURAL HISTORY:

Plaintiff brought a wrongful death action against the defendant stemming from the death of her mother, a  resident of defendant nursing home. Nursing home filed a motion to stay the proceedings and compel arbitration. The district court denied the motion. Nursing home appealed.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

In December of 2003, Mary Jo Herbert executed a two- part power of attorney in which granted Sherri Corum attorney- in- fact relating to Ms. Herbert’s medical and financial well- being. On March 15, 2006, Herbert was admitted to defendant’s nursing home facility by her husband, Edward Herbert.

At the time, Edward had no written authority designating him as an agent with power- of- attorney, guardian, or designation as a surrogate. Edward signed the nursing home’s admission agreement that incorporated an arbitration agreement that would require all disputes between the parties be adjudicated through arbitration proceedings rather than the courts.

OUTCOME AT TRIAL:

The trial court denied defendant’s motion, finding that Edward lacked the authority to enter Ms. Herbert into the arbitration agreement to begin with.

ISSUES ON APPEAL:

Did the trial court err in ruling that Ms. Herbert’s husband did not qualify as a healthcare surrogate for his wife, as required to admit her into the nursing home?

SUPREME COURT HOLDINGS:
No
RELEVANT APPLICATION OF LAW:
The New Mexico Health- Care Decisions Act dictates that two conditions be met in order for a person to be admitted into a nursing home facility. First, the person admitted to the facility must be admitted based on the conclusions of two physicians in regard to the capacity of the person admitted. Second, if there exists an individual with the express power to make health- care decisions on behalf of a principal, there must be a showing of that individual’s approval or unavailability before a surrogate may make a health- care decision.

The court found that neither of these conditions was met.

Client Reviews

  • Having worked in the medical field, I appreciated the way that Mr. Rosenfeld and his staff approached my family’s situation. The combination of medical knowledge and legal expertise was indeed the winning combination for our case.
    ★★★★★
  • While nothing can change the way our mother was treated at a nursing facility, I do feel a sense of vindication that the facility was forced to pay for their treatment. I am certain that they would never have done had my attorneys not held their feet to the fire.
    ★★★★★
  • I was very nervous about initiating a claim against my mother’s nursing facility, but Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers took care of everything from getting the medical records to going to court. I felt like I had real advocates on my side. That meant a lot to me.
    ★★★★★
  • After a horrific episode at a nursing home, my sister and I spoke to a number of law firms. No one took the time to answer our questions and explain the legal process like Mr. Rosenfeld. He did a tremendous job on our case and I can see why he’s earned the praise he has from clients and peers.
    ★★★★★
  • I liked the fact that I could call the office and ask questions about the legal process at anytime. I could tell that my case was in good hands. I think that this was reflected in my father’s settlement was more than I anticipated the case ever being worth.
    ★★★★★