The House Judiciary Committee yesterday reported out H.R. 6126, the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act, which would vitiate pre-dispute arbitration provisions in nursing home contracts. The Senate Judiciary has just begun a business meeting to mark up a bevy of bills, including S. 2838, the Senate version of the nursing home arbitration bill. (Sen. Specter just said that Republicans want to hold over the bill, however.)

As we’ve noted before, there’s a full-scale campaign by trial lawyers against arbitration, with the nursing home bills being for the advance guard. The ultimate goal is to drive more disputes into the courtroom.

We note the American Association for Justice’s lobbying disclosure report for the second quarter, 2008, available here, listed the following bills as being lobbied by the group.

  • H.R. 3010/S. 1782, Arbitration Fairness Act, to prohibit mandatory binding arbitration agreements in consumer contracts.
  • H.R. 1519, American Homebuyers Protection Act, relating to the including of mandatory binding arbitration in homebuilding contracts.
  • H.R. 3512, Automobile Arbitration Fairness Act, relating to the use of arbitration agreements to resolve disputes involving nursing home care and nursing home contracts.
  • H.R. 6126/S. 2838, Nursing Home Arbitration Act, relating to the use of arbitration agreements to resolve disputes involving nursing home care and nursing home contracts.
  • H.R. 6124, the farm bill, specific interest in language in enrolled bill (PL 110-246) relating to the use of arbitration to resolve controversies arising under livestock or poultry contracts; also similar language in H.R. 2419.

When you spend $1.74 million on lobbying for the quarter, you can cover a lot of bills.

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