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 & Honik, P.C. today. 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)
click here to fill out an online form.