A bill that would have weakened that enforcement of arbitration agreements has been significantly amended in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. As a result of the amendments, LeadingAge California was able to remove our opposition to the bill.
Senate Bill 1065 (Monning, D-Monterey) would have weakened the enforcement of arbitration agreements by prohibiting providers from appealing a motion to compel arbitration if a claim filed pursuant to the Elder and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) and the lower court refused to enforce an arbitration agreement clause. Currently, if an individual takes an elder abuse claim to court rather than directly to arbitration as previously agreed to, the court will generally rule that the dispute would be referred to arbitration (subject to certain exemptions). If the court were to deny the motion to compel arbitration, an automatic appeal is currently granted to the provider under statute.
Initially, SB 1065 would have eliminated the automatic appeal for providers, essentially forcing the issue to trial, which is the scenario that arbitration was established to avoid. LeadingAge California joined several other statewide organizations in opposing SB 1065, making the argument that all parties want a speedier resolution to these claims, but stripping the appeal rights for providers was not the way to ensure a quicker resolution. As a result of our advocacy efforts, the author and sponsors of the bill have agreed to work preserve the appeal rights for providers, and work on creating an expedited appeal process for plaintiffs through the court system.
LeadingAge California joined the other coalition members in removing their opposition to this bill once the amendments were finalized. Currently, LeadingAge California has no position on SB 1065, and will continue to monitor any changes to the bill during the last month of the legislative session.