Mendez Hampton Raymond Dieppa Dieppa.pdf
On appeal from the trial court’s order, the Third District affirmed. Id. at
676. Citing Alterra Healthcare Corp. v. Estate of Linton ex rel. Graham, 953 So.
2d 574 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007), the Third District held that the father was the intended
third-party beneficiary of the nursing home contract, and accordingly, Hampton
Court could bind him to its contract even though he never signed it. Mendez, 140
So. 3d at 674.
II. The Conflict Cases
“Third persons who are not parties to an arbitration agreement generally are
not bound by the agreement.” 21 Williston on Contracts § 57:19, at 181 (4th ed.
2001). Notwithstanding that principle, the district courts disagree on whether a
nursing home resident is bound by an arbitration clause in a nursing home contract,
when the resident neither signed nor otherwise agreed to the contract.
The First and Third Districts held that the resident is bound by the contract,
because the resident is the intended third-party beneficiary of the contract. See
Mendez, 140 So. 3d at 674; Alterra Healthcare, 953 So. 2d at 579. Both courts
emphasized that the resident is bound irrespective of whether the resident signed
the contract, or whether the signing party had authority to act on the resident’s
behalf. See Mendez, 140 So. 3d at 674; Alterra Healthcare, 953 So. 2d at 579. As
discussed below, we reject this view.