Attorney General Mayes Announces Settlement to End Secrecy Clauses at Senita Ridge, Setting a Precedent for Transparency in Assisted Living Facilities

PHOENIX – Attorney General Kris Mayes today announced a settlement in the case against the Senita Ridge assisted living facility that will end all secrecy clauses in the facility’s arbitration agreements. The Attorney General intervened in a case filed by a former resident where the judge ordered the parties to participate in a secret arbitration proceeding. Senita Ridge agreed to remove the secrecy requirement from all existing and future arbitration agreements.

“This settlement is a big win for protection of vulnerable adults, because it allows victims to share information with my office and allows me to perform the duties given to me by the legislature,” said Attorney General Mayes. “I urge other assisted living facilities operating in Arizona to remove the secrecy clauses from their own arbitration agreements or my office will intervene to strike them down.”

The Adult Protective Services Act gives the Attorney General the right to intervene in any elder abuse case not only to remedy past harm to the victim, but to prevent the facilities from causing harm to other vulnerable adults in the future.  Assisted living facilities often try to hide their bad acts from the Attorney General by resolving disputes in secret arbitrations rather than in open court. Those secret arbitrations violate the Adult Protective Services Act because plaintiffs who discover systemic mistreatment of vulnerable adults are blocked from notifying the Attorney General of the ongoing risk.

“I urge all Arizonans to contact my office if vulnerable adults are in danger, and do not let a secrecy clause stop you,” continued Mayes. “We need everyone’s help to identify the bad facilities so we can take legal action to clean them up.”

The Attorney General also urged anyone who has signed an arbitration agreement with a secrecy clause to contact her office. 

“You do not have to wait until a loved one suffers serious harm before fighting these secrecy clauses,” added Mayes.  “If your assisted living facility had you sign papers that contain any confidentiality requirements, contact my office and we will act to invalidate those secrecy clauses.”

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is committed to protecting seniors from abuse of any kind, including physical abuse and neglect. Arizonans can report instances of elder or vulnerable adult abuse by visiting or by emailing [email protected].

The lawsuit the Attorney General intervened in to eliminate the secrecy clause is Rose Marie Scheske v. The Goodman Group MN, LLC et al, Maricopa County case number CV2022-014439.