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March 2016

Tyson Foods Loses Bid to Reverse Worker Class Action in U.S. Supreme Court

And now for some rare but good news on the class action front from the U.S. Supreme Court:

For months now, Supreme Court watchers have been waiting with bated breath to see whether food industry giant Tyson Foods, Inc. would succeed in its bid to reverse a $5.8 million judgment in favor of Iowa meat processing employees who were not paid for their time “donning and doffing” protective equipment.

Well guess what? Tyson Foods lost.

Buried in the Fine Print: A Special Investigative Report on Arbitration

Earlier this month, Al Jazeera America aired ‘Buried in the Fine Print,’ a special investigative report on the dangers of arbitration. The program, which also features our executive director, showcases just a few example of arbitration’s impact on consumers, workers and others. We’re excited to…

  • Public Justice Files Suit to Clean Up Coal Ash Contamination at Utah Plant

    Public Justice has filed suit, on behalf of HEAL Utah and the Sierra Club, to ensure the cleanup of millions of tons of toxic coal ash waste at a central Utah power plant following decades of mismanagement. The suit comes after an October letter asking PacifiCorp to address a litany of problems that have contaminated land and water at the Huntington coal-burning power plant.

    According to the complaint, PacifiCorp’s mismanagement in handling, transport and disposal of the coal-ash waste “have caused extensive contamination of local ground and/or surface waters, which may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to health and the environment.”

    Perhaps most egregious, the suit alleges that one of the plant’s tactics for skirting its responsibilities under the Clean Water Act was the creation of a “fake farm” adjacent to the plant where alfalfa and other crops were irrigated as a means to disposing of the plant’s wastewater.

  • Don’t Trust the Chamber of Commerce When it Tells You That Arbitration is Good for Consumers

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the country’s largest corporate lobbying organizations, wants American consumers to believe that it has their best interests at heart. This is a myth.

    In a recent blog post, the Chamber argues against a proposed rule being considered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The rule would prohibit contracts for consumer financial products from combining arbitration clauses that prevent consumers from going to court with terms that ban consumers from bringing or being a part of a class action. The Chamber argues that when consumers have been cheated by banks or debt collectors, it’s in the consumers’ best interest to bring those companies to individual arbitration, rather than banding together in a class action. This position, however, is completely disingenuous.