As mandatory arbitration clauses become more prominent within company contracts, “attempts to protect businesses at the expense of consumers are underway,” according to an opinion piece by law professor Jeff Sovern published by USA Today. Consumer laws have historically been enforced in two ways – through the government and via lawmakers.
However, both methods are currently under attack, resulting in consumers being deprived of basic constitutional rights. The routine addition of forced arbitration agreements to consumer contracts has also required individuals to give up certain fundamental legal protections, most prominently the right to a fair court trial in front of a neutral judge either singly or in groups via the class action device.
Under these forced arbitration contracts, the right of injured consumers to sue corporations in groups has been dismantled, and all disputes must be settled by private third party arbitrators. As USA Today put it, “the conservatives on the Supreme Court have enforced such clauses to bar the use of class actions even if state law is to the contrary.”
In addition, despite Congress establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector, the agency is not exempt from these forced arbitration acts. Voters should become more knowledgeable about consumer laws so that their basic rights are not eroded.
Consumer Protection Attorneys at Lieff Cabraser
Lieff Cabraser advises consumers as well as businesses on whether and how to pursue legal action to halt and obtain compensation for the deceptive practices of large corporations. With a blend of courage, superior legal skills, and high principles, we protect our clients’ interests and help them achieve their goals by winning highly-complex consumer protection lawsuits against those that have defrauded consumers.