Johnson v. Rowan Inc.
2021 COA 7. No. 19CA1211. Arbitration—Health Care Availability Act.
January 28, 2021
The Johnsons admitted their seriously ill adult daughter to Rowan Community (Rowan), a long-term care facility. As part of the admission process, Rowan’s social services director required the Johnsons to sign a stack documents, one of which was an arbitration agreement (the agreement). Either or both of the Johnsons signed the documents. The Johnsons’ daughter died less than two months later, and the Johnsons sued various entities connected to Rowan for wrongful death, among other causes of action. Rowan moved to compel arbitration based on the agreement. The district court denied the motion.
On interlocutory appeal, Rowan argued that the district court erred in declining to enforce the agreement. The Health Care Availability Act (HCAA) requires a health care provider to (1) give the patient a written copy of any arbitration agreement he or she signs and (2) itself sign the arbitration agreement. Here, Rowan did not provide the Johnsons with a written copy of the agreement, and no Rowan representative signed the agreement. Rowan did not substantially comply with the HCAA, and the agreement was unenforceable. Accordingly, the district court did not err.
The order was affirmed.