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Mayes suing to invalidate secrecy clauses in dealings with long-term care

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes is suing to invalidate secrecy clauses in dealings with certain long-term care facilities. 

The suit is in response to the death of Robert Knight, who, according to the Attorney General's Office, died from neglect at Sun West Choice Health & Rehab, a long-term care facility in Phoenix.

After Knight’s wife filed suit, Sun West Choice asked the court to enforce an arbitration agreement that she had signed. This agreement had a secrecy clause so expansive, the family was not even allowed to reveal its existence.

Mayes says the secrecy clause violates Arizona law, which requires the AG’s Office to be notified when a case involves abuse, neglect or exploitation of vulnerable adults. Mayes also asked the court to invalidate the secret arbitrations for every patient in facilities operated by Sun West Choice’s parent company.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to an error by the Arizona Attorney General's Office, this story has been updated to reflect that Robert Knight was not a veteran.

Senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.