Tag Archives: Class Action

Bill Aims To Restore Consumers’ Legal Rights Stripped Away By Supreme Court Rulings

by Chris Morran, Consumerist

Sen. Patrick Leahy from Vermont and Sen. Al Franken from Minnesota announced the Restoring Statutory Rights Act. … It would create an exception in the Arbitration Act for disputes involving individuals and small businesses. The only way individuals would enter into arbitration is if they agreed to do so after the dispute has been filed. That’s very different from the current process, which automatically shunts all customer disputes into binding arbitration. Read More ›

Supreme Court Rejects Class-Action Suit Against DirecTV

by Robert Barnes, Washington Post

“These decisions have predictably resulted in the deprivation of consumers’ rights to seek redress for losses, and turning the coin, they have insulated powerful economic interests from liability for violations of consumer protection laws,” wrote [dissenting Justice Ruth Bader] Ginsburg. … “It has become routine, in a large part due to this court’s decisions, for powerful economic enterprises to write into their form contracts with consumers and employees no class-action arbitration clauses … further degrading the rights of consumers and further insulating already powerful economic entities.” Read More ›

Uber Seeks To Head Off Lawsuits With New Binding Driver Agreement

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

Uber logo

One East Bay driver, who asked not to be identified because he fears retaliation from Uber, said he had not immediately understood that he could opt out of the [binding arbitration] provision. “That wasn’t obvious to me,” said that driver, who graduated from UC Berkeley and worked in a professional job for many years. … Retaliation by Uber against drivers for opting out of the arbitration clause or for pursuing First Amendment rights to criticize the company would be illegal, but numerous drivers commenting on social media seemed unaware of this. Read More ›

Uber Drivers Get Big Boost In Lawsuit Against Company

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

Uber logo

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen ruled that even drivers who accepted mandatory arbitration in their Uber contract should be included in the [class-action suit], saying that clause was unenforceable. That means the majority of the 160,000 people who have ever driven for Uber in California are now part of the class. … If the drivers win, [their lawyer] has said she’ll next seek a nationwide class-action. … The Uber class-action is the furthest along of a bevy of lawsuits against companies such as Lyft, Postmates, Instacart, Caviar and Handy in which gig workers are seeking the protections and rights of employees. Read More ›

Beware The Fine Print: Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking The Deck Of Justice

by Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Robert Gebeloff, The New York Times

The move to block class actions was engineered by a Wall Street-led coalition of credit card companies and retailers, according to interviews with coalition members and court records. Strategizing from law offices on Park Avenue and in Washington, members of the group came up with a plan to insulate themselves from the costly lawsuits. Their work culminated in two Supreme Court rulings, in 2011 and 2013, that enshrined the use of class-action bans in contracts. The decisions … upended decades of jurisprudence. Read More ›

CFPB May Let You Sue Your Bank Instead Of Going To Arbitration

“Consumers should not be asked to sign away their legal rights when they open a bank account or credit card,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. “Companies are using the arbitration clause as a free pass to sidestep the courts … ” In a first step toward potential new rules, the CFPB is publishing an outline of proposals under consideration in preparation for forming a small business review panel to gather feedback from industry stakeholders. … [New rules would apply to] credit cards, checking and deposit accounts, prepaid cards, money transfer services and several types of loans. Read More ›

CFPB To Consider Rules That Would Revoke Banks’ “License To Steal”

by Chris Morran, Consumerist

Earlier this year, the Bureau released its first report on arbitration in the financial products sector. It found that while the clauses are incredibly prevalent — 92% of prepaid debit cards and 88% of cellphone contracts use them — most consumers are completely unaware if they are affected. According to the CFPB, of those Americans constrained by arbitration agreements, fewer than 7% understood that this meant they had given up their right to file a lawsuit. “Consumers should not be asked to sign away their legal rights when they open a bank account or credit card,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in statement. Read More ›

Uber Drivers Granted Class-Action Status In Legal Battle

by Tracey Lien, Los Angeles Times

Uber logo

Uber now stands to lose far more than if the case had proceeded as a suit involving only three plaintiffs. In addition to potentially being on the hook for back wages, sick leave, expenses and benefits, the company could be ordered to pay gratuities owed to thousands of former drivers. “We’re talking about millions of dollars,” said Lonnie Giamela of labor and employment firm Fisher & Phillips. And that doesn’t even touch on what a loss would mean for Uber’s independent contractor-reliant business model, which has earned the company a $50-billion valuation. Read More ›

Will Uber Drivers Get Class-Action Status For Employment Case?

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

uber exec toys with car and cash

The case’s outcome also looms over other on-demand companies because workers deemed employees have mandates on wages and benefits that contractors do not. If the drivers win class-action status and ultimately prevail, Uber would be faced with a sweeping overhaul of its relationship with drivers that would “radically change” the app and challenge Uber’s business model. Read More ›

Uber: Disability Laws Don’t Apply To Us

by Nina Strochlic, The Daily Beast

Uber logo

In three ADA-related cases over the past eight months, in California, Texas, and Arizona, Uber has been slammed with lawsuits that allege the company discriminates against blind and wheelchair-using passengers. The suits demand Uber abide by the ADA, but Uber claims that because it’s a technology company, not a transportation service, it doesn’t fall under the ADA’s jurisdiction. … The disability-rights movement is urging the courts and lawmakers to end the impunity. Read More ›