April 19, 2016
In 2015, the New York Times published a series entitled "Beware the Fine Print" on individual arbitration clauses used in contracts. The six-part series is now a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting. Part I, "Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice," described how "by inserting individual arbitration clauses into a soaring number of consumer and employment contracts, companies...devised a way to circumvent the courts and bar people from joining together in class-action lawsuits, realistically the only tool citizens have to fight illegal or deceitful business practices." Part II, "In Arbitration, a 'Privatization of the Justice System'" looked at specific cases where "thousands of businesses across the country...have used arbitration to create an alternate system of justice. There, rules tend to favor businesses, and judges and juries have been replaced by arbitrators who commonly consider the companies their clients." To read the all parts of the series, click here.
Consumer Voice is working to ban the use of forced arbitration agreements in long-term care facility admission contracts. These types of pre-dispute arbitration agreements place consumers at a disadvantage during the admissions process, strip consumers of their constitutional right to a trial by jury, deny consumers the benefits and advantages of a court of law, and place consumers at increased risk. For more information, view the Consumer Voice webpage on this issue.