PHYSICIAN-PATIENT ARBITRATION AGREEMENT
Article 1: Agreement to Arbitrate
It is understood that any dispute as to medical malpractice, that is as to whether any medical services rendered under this contract were unnecessary or unauthorized or were improperly, negligently, or incompletely rendered, will be determined by submission to arbitration as provided by California law, and not by a lawsuit or resort to court process except as California law provides for judicial review of arbitration proceedings. Both parties to this contract, by entering into it, are giving up their constitutional right to have any such dispute decided in a court of law before a jury, and instead are accepting the use of arbitration.
Article 2: All Claims Must Be Arbitrated
It is the intention of the parties that this agreement bind all parties whose claims may arise out of or related to treatment or service provided by the physician including any spouse or heirs of the patient and any children, whether born or unborn, at the time of the occurrence giving rise to any claim. In the case of any pregnant mother, the term "patient" herein shall mean both the mother and the mother's expected child or children. All claims for monetary damages exceeding the jurisdictional limit of the small claims court against the physician, and the physician's partners, associates, association, corporation or partnership, and the employees, agents and estates of any of them, must be arbitrated including, without limitation, claims for loss of consortium, wrongful death, emotional distress or punitive damages. Filing of any action in any court by the physician or patient to collect or contest any medical fee shall not waive the right to compel arbitration of any malpractice claim. However, following the assertion of any malpractice claim, any fee dispute, whether or not the subject of any existing court action, shall also be resolved by arbitration.
Article 3: Procedures and Applicable Law
A demand for arbitration must be communicated in writing to all parties. Each party shall select an arbitrator (party arbitrator) within thirty days and a third arbitrator (neutral arbitrator) shall be selected by the arbitrators appointed by the parties within thirty days of a demand for a neutral arbitrator by either party. Each party to the arbitration shall pay such party's pro rata share of the expenses and fees of the neutral arbitrator, together with other expenses of the arbitration incurred of approved by the neutral arbitrator, not including counsel fees or witness fees, or other expenses incurred by a party for such party's own benefit. The parties agree that the arbitrators have the immunity of a judicial officer from civil liability when acting in the capacity of the arbitrator under this contract. This immunity shall supplement, not supplant, any other applicable statutory or common law. Either party shall have the absolute right to arbitrate separately the issues of liability and damages upon written request to the neutral arbitrator. The parties consent to the intervention and joinder in this arbitration of any person or entity which would otherwise be a proper additional party in a court action, and upon such intervention and joinder any existing court action against such additional person or entity shall be stayed pending arbitration. The parties agree that provisions of California law applicable to healthcare providers shall apply to disputes within this arbitration agreement, including, but not limited to, Code of Civil Procedure Sections 340.5 and 667.7 and Civil Code Sections 3333.1 and 3333.2. Any party may bring before the arbitrators a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication in accordance with the Code of Civil Procedure. Discovery shall be conducted pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1283.05; however, depositions may be taken without prior approval of the neutral arbitrator.