A powerful blow has just been struck by the Ninth Circuit today, as it’s rejected a corporation’s effort to escape from legal liability by paying off a few individuals to wipe away the claims of thousands. This is a gigantic victory for consumers and workers.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit announced that TransUnion – one of the three big credit reporting agencies and one of the most powerful corporations in America – went too far in trying to slip an arbitration clause past consumers in a way they wouldn’t notice.
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.
As the New York Times recently reported, corporations have been taking away Americans’ ability to sue in court if the company harms them, without most people even being aware that they have given up their Constitutional rights. Corporations do this by slipping provisions into “terms and conditions” on the back of product packaging, or on the bottom of webpages, or buried in dense contracts that patients must sign before entering a hospital or nursing home.
When James Hayes took out a loan for $2525 via the Western Sky lending company, he probably expected, like most consumers do, that he would be charged some interest. But by any reasonable standard, the 139.12% rate he was effectively charged—turning his initial $2525 loan into a $14,093 debt—was jaw-dropping.