Jimmy is 25 years old and recently graduated from Mercer Pharmacy school. He is a pharmacist working for a drug store chain and earns about $85,000 a year. His job requires that he fill prescriptions. This entails a lot of standing and walking short distances.
Jimmy has been experiencing a lot of lower back pain. He went to see a neurosurgeon, named Dr. Strange. Surgery was recommended. He had the surgery but now he is in worse pain and unable to work because he cannot stand for long period of time or walk much.
Jimmy went to another doctor. This doctor claims that Dr. Strange committed malpractice. He writes a report of his opinion for Jimmy.
Jimmy goes to see Ken Regent, an attorney. Regent gets the medical records from Dr. Strange. In the medical records is a document that is 12 pages long in 9 point type and covers a variety of matters pertaining to the surgery and the consent that Jimmy gave to Dr. Strange for the surgery to be done.
On page 9 of this document it says the following:
Any dispute arising from the relationship between the doctor herein and the patient signing this agreement shall be submitted to binding arbitration and the patient agrees to waive any right to sue the doctor in a court of law. The arbiter shall be selected by the doctor from a list provided by the National Association of Medical Arbitrators.
The National Association of Medical Arbitrators is an organization developed by the American Medical Association for purposes of moving malpractice claims from the courtroom to alternative dispute resolution. The arbitrators on this association of eligible arbitrators must be doctors currently in practice and must go through training provided by the association.
When Jimmy signed the document he was about to be taken into surgery and was in a lot of pain. The nurse who gave him the document to sign said it was a form consenting to the surgery.
Regent wants to take the case to court. He believes that the arbitration may not be fair. He would rather have a jury decide.
Discuss the following (and any other matters you choose):
- What is arbitration?
- What is binding arbitration?
- What are some of the reasons why Jimmy would not want to go to arbitration?
- What arguments can be made that Jimmy should not have to go to arbitration?
- Should there be a law against some or all binding arbitration agreements? Which ones? Why? Why not?
- What arguments can the doctor make that the arbitration agreement is legal?
- What arguments can doctors make that such agreements are in the public interest and should not be made illegal?
Last Updated on March 30, 2020 by Essay Pro