Do Individual Arbitration Clauses Interfere with Justice?

A growing number of American corporations are including individual arbitration clauses into their contracts. Found in just about every kind of consumer and employment contract, including applications for credit cards, contracts for cable, cellphone, or internet service, car rentals, and even nursing home agreements, this small detail has big implications for the consumer.

Companies who turn to individual arbitration contracts have found a way to effectively circumvent the courts, barring people from joining together in class action lawsuits in the event of a dispute. Since class actions are the only way citizens have to fight back against deceitful or illegal business practices, one is left to wonder if the decks of justice are being stacked in favor of big corporations.

In banning class actions, companies have effectively disabled any challenges a consumer might have towards injustices like discrimination, wage theft, and predatory lending. It is almost as if businesses can misbehave without reproach.

Often, corporations avoid conflict altogether when the cost of arbitration is more than what the consumer can hope to gain from it. Many potential actions are dropped entirely.

Real examples of people barred from class action litigation include:

  • Citibank customers duped into purchasing insurance they were never eligible to use
  • Time Warner customers whose bills contained mysterious charges
  • Taco Bell employees alleging they were denied promotions and who endured degrading comments by their employer
  • An AT&T customer who was forced to pay $600 in excessive charges because individual arbitration would have cost far more

Judges are continuing to side in favor of corporations. In 2014, class action bans were upheld by judges in 134 of 162 cases, or 83 percent of the time.

Class Action Attorneys in Philadelphia

Class action litigation is an essential tool for uncovering corporate misconduct and holding them accountable for their actions. Without it, illegal and unfair business practices are allowed to proliferate.

If you feel you are the victim of unethical or unlawful business practices and have questions on what to do next, please consult with a Philadelphia class action lawyer at Golomb Legaltoday. We can help advise you on your legal options as an individual or as part of a class action lawsuit. Our experienced, results-oriented attorneys make protecting your rights and best interests our number one goal, and are prepared to do whatever it takes to pursue justice on your behalf.

To request a free no-obligation consultation, call our office at (215) 278-4449, or click here to fill out an online form.