The following nightmare situation is not fictional. It happened to a Virginia family most recently.

Family places their loved one in a nursing home for skilled nursing care. Loved one is sexually assaulted by a staff member of the facility. Family finds out. Family is outraged and files a lawsuit.

Nursing home says “You can’t sue us… you signed this agreement when your loved one was admitted that says you won’t sue us but instead will agree to arbitrate any and all claims.”

Family asks a Norfolk Judge to decide and the Circuit Court says even though the Arbitration Agreement was signed, it is not binding and the family can sue.

In another Court this year, a Federal Judge says a family could not sue a retirement home because they had signed an arbitration agreement saying they would not sue. Although their loved one suffered an injury, the case can not and will not go to trial.

So what is the law in Virginia?

Are Arbitration agreements in nursing home contracts enforceable?

Answer – yes, and no. It depends on who signed it; when; whether it was revoked, etc.

So if your loved one is in a nursing or retirement home and you suspect abuse or neglect that caused injury – call us and we will help try to revoke the arbitration agreement. At least that  you preserve your right to a jury trial.

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at