Laurel Creek Health Care Center v. Bishop
Court of Appeals of Kentucky,____S.W.3d___(2010)
Gilbert Bishop was admitted to Laurel Creek Health Care Center on July 23, 2002, after arriving via ambulance without family present. During that examination, Gilbert communicated to Laurel Creek staff that he could not use his hands well enough to write or hold a pencil. Gilbert was otherwise found to be mentally competent. Gilbert’s sister, Rachel Combs, arrived after Gilbert, she offered to sign the admissions forms, but Laurel Creek employees told her that it was their policy to have the patient’s spouse sign the admissions papers if the patient was unable to sign them. Rachel also testified that Gilbert asked her to get his wife, Anna Bishop, so that she could sign his admissions papers. Rachel left and picked up Anna. Upon arriving, Anna signed the admissions paperwork, which contained a provision for mandatory arbitration. Subsequently, Gilbert Bishop went into cardiopulmonary arrest and died. Following Gilbert’s death, his brother, Colson Bishop, qualified as a personal representative of his estate and brought this action for negligence against Laurel Creek. Laurel Creek requested that the trial court hold the matter in abeyance and order the parties to proceed to arbitration in accordance with the mandatory arbitration provision contained in the admissions paperwork signed by Gilbert’s wife. Laurel Creek renewed its motion under KRS 17.050, et seq., to hold the matter in abeyance and compel arbitration. The trial court denied the motion on the ground that Anna was not Bishop’s agent and had no legal authority to make decisions for him. Laurel Creek now appeals, arguing that the trial court’s last finding of fact is not supported by substantial evidence and is incorrect as a matter of law. ISSUE
Was there an actual agency if “there has been a manifestation by the principal to the agent that the agent may act on his account, and consent by the agent so to...
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