the Diminishing Availability of Class Action Lawsuits As A Consumer Remedy

class-action-123rf-47834204_sJay Weller is a Bankruptcy Attorney serving primarily the Tampa area, including Clearwater, Port Richey and Lakeland, Florida. The Bankruptcy Lawyers at Weller Legal Group and Mr. Weller are available to help anyone in the Tampa Bay area confronted with issues relating to Debt, or matters related to Bankruptcy Law and the filing and prosecution of a Bankruptcy.

A recent article in the New York Times, dated November 1, 2015, outlines a growing trend in the United States to limit the availability of Class Action Lawsuits or Litigation as an avenue for Consumers to seek redress of Corporate infractions that violate such Consumers Consumer Rights. Commensurate with the decline of Class Actions is an attendant rise in Arbitration, as a method of resolving such disputes.

Increasingly, a growing number of large Corporations are including Arbitration Clauses into employment contracts, credit card agreements, cell phone contracts, and cable and internet service. AT&T, Verizon, Macys, Kmart, Time Warner, and Sears are among the large Corporations employing Arbitration Clauses.

According to William G Young, a Federal Judge from Boston, appointed by Ronald Reagan, this trend, “…is among the most profound shifts in our legal history”.

This trend has created a dampening effect on Consumers exercising their rights or remedies against Corporations. For example, Sprint, a corporation with more than 57 million customers, endured only six arbitrations between 2010 and 2014. Time Warner, with 15 million customers, only faced seven Arbitrations.
In the New York Times Investigation, based upon court records, and interviews with hundreds of Attorneys, Judges, Arbitrators, Plaintiffs, and Corporations, in 35 States, the Times found that of 1,179 Class Actions in which the Defendant or Corporation sought to have such cases thrust into Arbitration, the Defendant prevailed in four out of every five cases. In 2014, Judges upheld Class Action bans in 134 of 162 cases.

In 2014, Attorneys Generals in 16 States issued a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stating that unlawful business practices would multiply with the growing reliance on Arbitration to settle such disputes with Consumers.

With the Supreme Court opinion in American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant, in 2003, and its more recent decision ten years after, the ability of Corporations to enforce such Arbitration Clauses, to the detriment of Class Actions, has been further strengthened.

Weller Legal Group offers representation in Bankruptcy Matters, representing only Debtors in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Since 1993, Weller Legal Group has represented over forty thousand Clients in Bankruptcy Proceedings and Filings, and have represented many thousands more through our non Bankruptcy Alternatives. If you live in the vicinities of Clearwater, Port Richey and Lakeland, please contact our Office today, to speak with an actual Bankruptcy Attorney or Licensed Bankruptcy Lawyer. We may be reached directly through or by calling Toll Free at 1-800-407-3328 or 727-539-7701.

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