Cottrell v. Holtzberg

In Cottrell v. Holtzberg, the New Jersey Appellate Division confronted an unusual dispute over an arbitration agreement. The plaintiff was admitted to the same nursing home twice. Upon her admission the first time, she signed an agreement to submit any disputes to arbitration. She recovered from her ailments and was discharged. The following year, she returned to the same nursing home. This time, her admitting paperwork did not contain an arbitration clause. Unfortunately, the plaintiff died during her second stay, and her estate subsequently sued. The nursing home sought to compel arbitration, and the Law Division denied that request. On appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed, holding the arbitration clause did not offer the kind of prospective coverage the defendants sought. Instead, the admission paperwork from the second admission controlled, and it did not have an arbitration agreement.

COTTRELL