Following the series on forced arbitration by the New York Times, there has been an outpouring of support for change. From Huffington Post to the Daily Kos, national and local outlets have covered the unjust practices keeping consumers and patients from exercising their 7th Amendment rights. Here are a few of our favorite excerpts.
Larry Tawwater, president of the American Association for Justice, adds there are situations in which arbitration is preferable to ending up in court. But his organization doesn’t think people should automatically have to limit their rights up front when buying a product or service or accepting a job. “If you decide after the fact, and both parties sit down and say, ‘OK, we will agree to arbitration on these terms,’ that’s OK,” he says. “But what this is, is bullying people into something they never agreed to, before they even knew there was a dispute.”
Reversing the broader trend of forced arbitration, however, will require public outcry loud and long enough to stir the White House and Congress to action. Many people interviewed in The Times’ series did not realize that their right to sue had been lost until they needed it. A common refrain was disbelief that this could happen in America. But it is happening, and it needs to stop.
These cases may not garner the same headlines as those involving public displays of religion or government surveillance, but they affect the rights, and the pocketbooks, of nearly all of us — something to keep in mind when evaluating not just the current Court’s record, but also future nominees.
Americans are beginning to understand that the game is rigged. Now we must take action to level the playing field.
It’s time to take action on forced arbitration. Beware the fine print and contact your representatives.