Amazon notified its customers this week that it will no longer require them to resolve legal complaints with the company through arbitration. The New York Times reports that legal experts are deeming this a major win for consumers, as it reflects a significant retreat from a near-ubiquitous strategy that often helps companies avoid liability. Arbitration clauses in consumer contracts require that individuals surrender their fundamental constitutional rights to a trial by jury – often without ever realizing they’ve done so — forcing cases involving grievances or injuries that should have been heard in public court to instead be diverted to private, corporate-funded proceedings where corporations have a dominant hand that can allow them to skirt accountability. Such clauses also prevent consumers from filing class action suits in cases where large numbers of people suffer exactly the same harm.
Amazon advised customers in a brief email that anyone using its products should pursue disputes with the company in federal court.
Read the full article on The New York Times website.