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Licata v. GGNSC Malden Dexter LLC (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-010-14)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;     SJC‑11336   SALVATORE LICATA, JR., administrator,[1]  vs.  GGNSC MALDEN DEXTER LLC.     Suffolk.     September 4, 2013.  ‑  January 13, 2014. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Arbitration.  Health Care Proxy.  Nursing Home.  Agency, Scope of authority or employment, What constitutes, Ratification.  Consent.  Incompetent Person, Consent to medical treatment.  Contract, Arbitration, Parties, Validity, Third party beneficiary.  Estoppel.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on August 1, 2011.   A motion to dismiss the complaint and to compel arbitration was heard by Paul E. Troy, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Joseph M. Desmond (Thomas T. Worboys with him) for the defendant. Michael R. Rezendes (Patricia J. Rezendes with him) for the plaintiff. Kelly Bagby, of the District of Columbia, & Rebecca J. Benson & Debra Silberstein, for National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (Massachusetts Chapter) & another, amici curiae, submitted a brief.       DUFFLY, J.  The plaintiff, Salvatore Licata, Jr., commenced this wrongful death action in the Superior Court as the administrator of the estate of his deceased mother, Rita Licata.[2]  The defendant nursing home operator moved to compel arbitration based on an arbitration agreement that Salvatore signed purportedly on his mother’s behalf.  Because we conclude that Salvatore lacked authority to execute an arbitration agreement on Rita’s behalf, and the arbitration agreement does not otherwise bind Rita’s estate, we affirm the Superior Court judge’s denial of the defendant’s motion.[3] Background.  On August 19, 2008, the day after Rita was admitted to a medical center for evaluation of increased confusion, she signed a health care proxy designating Salvatore as her health care agent, pursuant to G. L. c. 201D, § 5, in the event of her incapacity to make health care decisions.   Three days later, on August 22, 2008, Rita was discharged from the medical center and transferred to a nursing facility operated by the defendant GGNSC Malden Dexter LLC (GGNSC).  Rita’s attending physician at the medical center authored a transfer report containing a three-page summary of Rita’s condition upon entering and exiting the medical center and the treatment Rita received while a patient there.  Upon her arrival at the nursing facility, Rita was taken to her room.  The nursing facility’s admissions director meanwhile brought Salvatore to […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 14, 2014 at 5:47 am

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