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Pine Tree Villa, L.L.C v. Olson (2009 WL 723034)

Kentucky-elderly-man-nursing-home-neglect-200x300Articles: Kentucky

Pine Tree Villa, L.L.C v. Olson (2009 WL 723034)

CASE:
Pine Tree Villa, L.L.C v. Olson (2009 WL 723034)
PARTIES:
Plaintiff (Appellee) – Olson
Defendant (Appellant) – Pine Tree Villa, L.L.C.
COURT:
Court of Appeals of Kentucky (2009)
PROCEDURAL HISTORY:

On September 13, 2006, plaintiff filed a claim for negligence associated with the care provided to her by the Pine Tree Villa. A year later, Pine Tree Villa moved to trial court to enforce the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) clause that plaintiff signed on her intake paperwork. The trial court denied Pine Tree’s motion.

SUMMARY OF FACTS:

Cara Olson was a resident of Pine Tree Villa, a nursing home, beginning in August, 2005. Olson suffered from Multiple Sclerosis and was hospitalized in February, 2006. When Olson returned to Pine Tree Villa she had to be readmitted. Since there was new ownership of the nursing home, Olson had to fill out paperwork that differed from what she filled out when she arrived in 2005.

The new paperwork included an ADR clause which stated that any dispute between Olson and Pine Tree Villa would be handled through arbitration rather than through the courts. Olson contends that she was unaware of the ADR clause and that no one from Pine Tree Villa explained it to her.

On September 13, 2006, Olson filed a negligence claim against Pine Tree Villa. A year later, and after litigation had already begun, Pine Tree Villa attempted to assert the ADR clause.

OUTCOME AT TRIAL:

The trial court  held that Pine Tree Villa had waived the right to ADR by failing to make its demand in a timely manner.

ISSUES ON APPEAL:

By waiting a year to demand ADR, did Pine Tree Villa waive their right to assert their right?

SUPREME COURT HOLDINGS:
Yes
RELEVANT APPLICATION OF LAW:

Participation in a judicial proceeding may act as a waiver of arbitration but only if the party seeking such an avenue of resolution so participates without requesting arbitration…for the mere filing of pleadings does not cause of waiver of a contractual arbitration provision.”

  • Valley Const. Co, Inc. v. Perry Host Management Co., Inc., 796 S.W.2d 365, 368

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