Review of Court Decisions - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 36, No. 2
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE—MOTION TO COMPEL—SCOPE OF ARBITRATION AGREEMENT—ARBITRABILITY
An arbitration agreement signed after the patient's admission to the hospital did not bind the patient to arbitrate claims arising out of alleged acts of malpractice that occurred prior to her admission. The patient, Troy, had been under the care of the defendant gynecologist during her pregnancy in September 1976. At that time, the defendant diagnosed a weak cervix and prescribed vaginal suppositories to relieve "spotting" that Mrs. Troy was experiencing. In November 1976, the patient delivered a premature one pound, nine ounce baby boy, who died the following April. On the day after her admission to the hospital and the birth of her son, Mrs. Troy signed an agreement to arbitrate any disputes with the hospital or the physician arising out of health care rendered to her during her stay at the hospital. No such agreement was signed on behalf of the child. Subsequently, the plaintiff and her husband instituted suit against the defendant, alleging malpractice in failing to suture Mrs. Troy's cervix after diagnosing the weak cervix during her third month of pregnancy. The defendant successfully moved to compel arbitration pursuant to the agreement signed at the hospital, but the court of appeals reversed. "The arbitration agreement only covered actions for health care rendered while the patient was in the hospital. Plaintiffs in this case have alleged that defendant committed negligent actions prior to Debra Troy's admission to the hospital. The arbitration agreement does not cover such actions."
Troy V. Leep, 300 N.W.2d 598 (Mich. Ct. App. 1980).