Saturday, March 28, 2009

Power of Attorney Did Not Provide Authority to Agree to Arbitration

In Carrington Place of St. Pete, LLC v. The Estate of Jennie Milo (2D08-2679), the Second District affirmed the circuit court's order denying a motion to compel arbitration. When the patient was admitted to a nursing home the required admission documents, which included an arbitration provision, were signed by the administrator of her estate. The patient had previously signed a power of attorney in favor of the administrator. The nursing home argued that the arbitration provision was binding based upon the properly executed power of attorney. The court held that the power of attorney did not give the administrator legal authority to enter into an arbitration agreement:
Examining the POA executed here by Milo, we conclude that the language specifically refers to the rights, duties, and powers that Brito may exercise on behalf of Milo. But the language does not "unambiguously make[] a broad, general grant of authority" to Brito. See id. Our review of the language of the POA seemingly indicates that it specifically granted authority to Brito related solely to Milo's property interests. Accordingly, McKibbin controls, and we must affirm the trial court's denial of appellants' motion to compel arbitration.


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