JERALD FARMER, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS SURVIVING SPOUSE FOR THE WRONGFUL DEATH BENEFICIARIES OF MARIE A. FARMER v. SOUTH PARKWAY ASSOCIATES, L.P., D/B/A PARKWAY HEALTH AND REHABILITATION CENTER - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Sep 25, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Stephen D. Crawley and Anna V. Blair, Memphis, Tennessee for Defendant/Appellant South Parkway Associates, L.P.

Attorneys 2:

W. Bryan Smith and Peter B. Gee, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee for Plaintiff/Appellee Jerald Farmer, Individually and on behalf of Marie Farmer and Beneficiaries

Judge(s): HIGHERS

This appeal concerns the denial of a motion to compel arbitration. The sister of the decedent signed several admissions documents on the decedent’s behalf for purposes of admitting her to the defendant health care facility. At that time, the sister also signed an optional arbitration agreement. Several days later, the decedent passed away, and subsequently, the decedent’s beneficiaries brought a wrongful death action against the healthcare facility on her behalf. The healthcare facility moved to compel arbitration, arguing that the sister had authority to bind the decedent to the terms of the arbitration agreement based on several agency theories, as no power of attorney existed. After reviewing the depositions submitted in lieu of live testimony, the trial court determined the arbitration agreement was not enforceable because the sister lacked the legal authority to bind the decedent. Based on a careful review of the evidence, we affirm.

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