November 3, 1995 |
In what could be its first major review in 20 years of binding arbitration clauses in health plan contracts, the California Supreme Court agreed Thursday to consider a case in which the giant Kaiser Foundation Health Plan is accused of stalling an arbitration hearing until after the claimant died. The move may have saved Kaiser as much as $250,000 in damages. At issue in the case is Kaiser's mandatory arbitration clause, which forces its more than 4.
January 11, 2012 |
A 1996 law sought to protect struggling consumers from businesses promising to improve their credit rating, and specifically gave customers the right to sue any firm in violation. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that credit repair companies could block such lawsuits and instead force disgruntled customers into binding arbitration if they had agreed to such a provision in the fine print of their agreements. The 8-1 decision is another in a string of high court rulings in recent years that have backed an arbitration clause over a customer's right to file a lawsuit.
April 28, 2011 |
The Supreme Court dealt a blow to class-action lawsuits that involve small claims affecting thousands or even millions of people by ruling that corporations may use arbitration clauses to block dissatisfied consumers or disgruntled employees from joining together. In a 5-4 decision, the justices said Wednesday the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925, originally aimed at disputes over maritime and rail shipments, trumps state laws and court rulings in California and about half the states that limit arbitration clauses deemed to be "unfair" to consumers.
October 18, 2011 |
Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, you may not have the right to sue a company you think has wronged you. Instead, if the company prefers, you could have to arbitrate the dispute — a process that consumer advocates say tips the scales of justice in favor of businesses. That imbalance would be remedied with passage of the Arbitration Fairness Act, a bill under consideration in Congress that would supersede the Supreme Court's ruling and reestablish consumers' right to sue and to join with others in class-action lawsuits.
May 11, 1989 |
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday approved rule changes designed to make the securities industry's arbitration system more fair to disgruntled customers. By a 5-0 vote, the commission authorized a series of changes, spurred by complaints from unhappy investors who discovered after the October, 1987, stock crash that they had signed away their right to sue their brokers. Many firms, in the fine print in paper work required to open an account, require customers to agree in advance to settle any disputes through industry-administered arbitration proceedings, rather than through the courts.
March 8, 2008
Re "About that day in court," Opinion, March 3 I remain unconvinced that binding arbitration is detrimental to anyone but trial lawyers. While Peggy Garrity's example of workplace sexual assault is certainly harrowing, I can tell many more stories, from my experience alone, of unbridled assault by trial lawyers on decent, middle-class small-business owners. These lawsuits, sometimes based on fully fabricated injurious events, raise consumer prices, bankrupt businesses and destroy families with the full support of lawyers' professional associations that call it justice.