Earlier today, the Supreme Court ruled that it’s okay for companies to effectively preempt class-action lawsuits by putting mandatory binding arbitration clauses into their contracts with consumers. To most of us, that looks like a slap in the face to the American consumer, but the folks at AT&T want us all to know that the Supreme Court decision is actually going to benefit us all. [More]
In a huge blow to peeved consumers, the Supreme Court ruled earlier today that companies can block customers from joining together in a class-action suit by forcing each complaint into arbitration.
Earlier this year, those fighting the Constitutionality of the national healthcare reform legislation asked for permission to skip the appeals process and bring their arguments straight to the Supreme Court. Earlier today, the Supremes denied that request. [More]
Whether the arena be the Grammys, Oscars or freestyle rap battles, you don’t want to face Eminem as an opponent. That’s a lesson Universal Music Group learned when it took on the rapper in the Supreme Court, which refused to hear its appeal in a lawsuit over downloadable music. The court’s refusal to hear the case, reports the Detroit Free Press, probably means Eminem won between $40 million and $50 million from the publisher. [More]
A Supreme Court ruling protects vaccine makers from lawsuits filed by parents who believe vaccines have hurt their children. [More]
A year ago, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could not be banned from political spending during elections through either independent expenditures from corporations’ general funds or “electioneering communications,” i.e. political ads. Detractors cried out that it would let loose a flood of corporate cash into elections, and they were right. A new Public Citizen report shows that outside groups quadrupled their contributions during the last mid-term election from the previous, and we will never know exactly where a good deal of the money came from. [More]
Given that Walmart is the country’s largest private employer it’s not terribly surprising that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to have a look at the sex discrimination lawsuit filed against the retailer — the largest class-action suit of its kind in U.S. history. [More]
The Supreme Court has decided 5-4 in favor of firearm owners, ruling that Chicago’s 28-year-old gun ban is unconstitutional. [More]
Think the arbitration clause in a contract is unfair? Go ahead and contest it! Of course, you shouldn’t expect to win, since the Supreme Court has just ruled that it’s just fine for the arbitrator to decide whether the clause is fair. [More]
The NFL is an association of 32 separate businesses rather than one giant corporation with 32 branches, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, preventing the league from getting antitrust law protections it wanted. The suit originated from hatmaker American Needle, which the NFL dissed in favor of an exclusive deal with Reebok. American Needle said it was shut out thanks to a collaboration between the teams. [More]
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that debt collectors can’t use a “bona fide error” defense to avoid being sued for misinterpreting the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). In other words, if a debt collection agency makes a demand that’s in violation of the Act, it can’t say it didn’t know any better. Well, it can, but you can go right ahead and sue. [More]
Better hope your technorights-based lawsuit doesn’t make it all the way to the US Court of Last Resort, because these august judges might not have a freakin’ clue of what’s going on. Turns out they don’t know the difference between email and a pager, among other things. [More]
If a retailer doesn’t protect your credit card data and it gets stolen, should you be compensated? Not for any unauthorized charges, which are already covered under banks’ zero-liability protection, but for the time lost dealing with the problem, for the anxiety it causes, and for any future credit history/score issues it might cause?
Two recent Supreme Court cases on federal pre-emption have made a mess of tort law, confusing and endangering consumers by holding that a patient who is injured by a dangerous drug can sue the manufacturer, but a patient injured by a dangerous medical device cannot. How this happened, and what to do about it, inside.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of Diana Levine in Wyeth v. Levine. Levine, a musician, had her arm amputated when an anti-nausea drug was improperly administered in her artery, and sued the manufacturer for failing to warn of the risks on the drug’s label. Wyeth claimed that her case was pre-empted by federal law.
“Pre-emption” is a legal doctrine that says the federal government can claim all regulatory power over an area or subject, barring states from acting on their own. The drug maker Wyeth has brought a case before the Supreme Court arguing that a woman in Vermont, who lost her arm due to a drug complication that Wyeth knew about but did not publicize, cannot sue them in state court because of pre-emption. Wyeth says that only the FDA has the power to regulate it—and since the FDA approved Wyeth’s drug label, it’s the FDA’s responsibility. We think Wyeth is pretending to care about federal-versus-state power in an attempt to weasel out of any responsibility.