Lawyer: Employers Should Take Away Workers’ Right To Sue; Arbitrators “Know Where Their Bread & Butter Comes From”

SarahMcGowen

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is currently working on rules to stop banks, credit card issuers, and others from forcing customers to sign away their right to a jury trial. Opponents claim that this change will only benefit trial lawyers, but some candid advice from one lawyer shows exactly why these protections are needed — and who really stands to benefit. [More]

photographynatalia

House Passes Bill Allowing Banks To Continue Using “Get Out Of Jail Free” Card

A few months back, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed new rules that would limit how banks, credit card companies, and other financial services could shield themselves from legitimate lawsuits by forcing customers to sign away their constitutional rights. Now, the House of Representatives has passed an appropriations bill that, if signed, would stop the CFPB from enforcing these rules and give banks back their “get out of jail free” cards. [More]

Adam Fagen

Lawsuit Against For-Profit Sanford Brown Institute Moves Forward, Despite Arbitration Clause

The highest court in New Jersey has ruled that a lawsuit filed by former students against for-profit educator Sanford Brown Institute can move forward, even though the school’s enrollment agreement has an arbitration clause that takes away students’ right to file such lawsuits.  [More]

Alan Rappa

Amazon Goes After Third-Party Sellers For Buying, Creating Fake Reviews

Months after filing several lawsuits to block companies from selling fraudulent positive reviews on its site, Amazon is now turning its focus to those that purchase the fake reviews, taking action against one company and two individuals who sell on the e-commerce site.  [More]

Take This Weight-Loss Supplement And Give Up Your Right To A Jury Trial

Take This Weight-Loss Supplement And Give Up Your Right To A Jury Trial

If you wanted to get an idea on the ridiculous overuse of forced arbitration, here’s one of the more absurd examples we’ve seen — a weight-loss supplement with the added non-benefit of stripping users of their right to sue the company that made the pills. [More]

Molly

Reminder: You Should Opt Out Of Starbucks Card Mandatory Arbitration Now. Here’s How

This week, the new terms and conditions for Starbucks cards — the gift and stored-value cards that you can use to rack up rewards in their newly revamped reward program — went into effect. That means existing users have until May 12 to opt out of the chain’s normal requirement that card users waive their right to sue the company. [More]

Are You Unintentionally Signing Away Your Elderly Parents’ Right To Sue Their Nursing Home?

Are You Unintentionally Signing Away Your Elderly Parents’ Right To Sue Their Nursing Home?

When an elderly parent is no longer able to make sensible medical decisions for themselves, an adult child is often named a medical proxy to handle these important calls. But does this life-or-death authority over a parent’s medical care carry over to things like signing legally binding contracts, and possible signing away your, or your parent’s, right so sue their nursing home? [More]

Adam Fagen

Got A Fitbit Or Other Gadget For Christmas? It’s Time To Opt Out Of Mandatory Arbitration!

Customers have filed a class action suit against Fitbit, claiming that the company’s Charge HR and Surge fitness bands don’t accurately measure users’ heart rate during vigorous exercise. We’ll keep an eye on the lawsuit and let you know if it goes anywhere, but it probably won’t, and that’s what got our attention. The users filed a class action against Fitbit despite signing (well, clicking) away their right to do so when they registered their devices. [More]

Debt Collectors Can Sue You, But Court Might Not Let You Sue Debt Collector Back

Debt Collectors Can Sue You, But Court Might Not Let You Sue Debt Collector Back

A new report claims that a growing number of debt collectors are trying to exploit a legal loophole that allows them to bring potentially frivolous lawsuits against alleged debtors, but bars those defendants from bringing their own legal action against the debt collector. [More]

Strippers Say They Were Forced To Give Up Their Right To Sue Club

Just one of 18 clauses in the arbitration agreement that some dancers say they were made to sign by the Atlanta club.

If your employer does something illegal, you have the right to sue them in a court of law. But a group of strip club dancers in Atlanta say they were forced to sign away that right — or lose their jobs. [More]

10+ Things Consumers Should Know About The New Federal Spending Bill

10+ Things Consumers Should Know About The New Federal Spending Bill

This morning, after months of slapping on, then removing, then replacing pork barrel riders on the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, we finally know exactly which add-ons made it into the omnibus spending bill and which ones didn’t. [More]

Supreme Court Once Again Shows Its Disdain For Consumer Rights

Supreme Court Once Again Shows Its Disdain For Consumer Rights

For the third time in five years, the U.S. Supreme Court had a chance to reverse a terrifying trend in consumer rights by doing something, anything, to rein in “forced arbitration” clauses that strip consumers of their legal rights and effectively give companies a license to steal. And for the third time in five years, the SCOTUS majority showed its interests lie in protecting the coffers of big business rather than Americans’ access to the legal system. [More]

Banks Urge Congress To Continue Renewing Their “Get Out Of Jail Free” Cards

Banks Urge Congress To Continue Renewing Their “Get Out Of Jail Free” Cards

Nestled deep in the text of the lengthy contracts for most credit cards and bank accounts are little clauses that not only prohibit harmed customers from suing their bank or card issuer, but also prevents them from banding together with similarly injured consumers to argue their dispute as a group. In October, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it would consider limits on these clauses, but now the banking industry is trying to use its leverage with D.C. lawmakers to shut down that process. [More]

12 Things We Learned From The New York Times’ Investigative Report On Arbitration

12 Things We Learned From The New York Times’ Investigative Report On Arbitration

Consumerist’s first post on the subject of arbitration, back in 2007, described a dispute that was ultimately resolved in the consumer’s favor. Since then, we’ve been against the practice, pointing out when popular companies change their terms of service to add arbitration clauses. It doesn’t matter, though, because arbitration can save companies so much money that they don’t especially care what we think. Sometimes. [More]

Court Sides With Consumer In Suit Against Retailer That Charges $250 When Customers Threaten To Complain

Court Sides With Consumer In Suit Against Retailer That Charges $250 When Customers Threaten To Complain

Last summer, a consumer in Wisconsin filed a lawsuit against online retailer Accessory Outlet over what she called a bogus $250 fine the company imposed, claiming she breached the terms of sale when she threatened to have the charge canceled after the iPhone case she ordered never shipped. Today, a New York court sided with the consumer by granting a default judgement in the case, essentially agreeing that Accessory Outlet’s “terms of sale” and the debt it alleged the woman owed were void.  [More]

(Ryan Glenn)

FTC Affirms Consumers’ Right To Go To Court Over Warranty Disputes

In just the last four years, the U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled against consumers’ rights and in favor of companies that use fine print in their contracts to block wronged customers from suing in court and from joining together as a class action. In spite of these rulings, the Federal Trade Commission recently upheld rules that give warranty buyers the right to a day in court, even if they have to go through arbitration first. [More]

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

A month after legislation was introduced to eliminate mandatory arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, civil rights and antitrust cases, a coalition of 58 lawmakers and several consumer advocate groups are urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take things a step further by protecting consumers from forced arbitration clauses in financial services contracts. [More]

(Brian Turner)

Arbitration Fairness Act Would Reinstate Consumers’ Right To Sue In Court

 

Companies have been taking away your right to sue them when they screw up for years, using small, hidden clauses to require mandatory binding arbitration instead. After years of consumer groups voicing their concern over this anti-consumer practice, there’s finally a new bill in congress that proposes to bring back your right to sue.

[More]