The House Judiciary Committee voted 17-10 on a party line vote to approve legislation introduced by Linda Sanchez (D-CA-39) that would ban the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts. The bill, the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act (H.R. 6126), states that a “pre-dispute arbitration agreement between a long-term care facility and a resident of such facility (or person acting on behalf of such resident, including a person with financial responsibility for such resident) shall not be valid or specifically enforceable.” During consideration of the bill, Congressman Chris Cannon (R-UT-3) made several attempts to amend the legislation to allow arbitration while protecting the rights of nursing home patients and their families, but each effort was shot down. Passage of the bill marks what is expected to be the opening act for a substantial push by trial lawyers to enact legislation to increase litigation throughout the U.S. Legislation to prohibit almost all mandatory arbitration agreements (H.R. 3010 – the Arbitration Fairness Act) recently passed a House subcommittee, but is not expected to move forward this year.