Have you bought a car in the last few years? How about a cell phone, or a television, or a computer? If so congratulations, you have probably lost your right to sue the company you bought it from and have your day in court. More and more companies are using forced arbitration clauses hidden deep in the fine print of contracts to opt out of the American justice system.
Forced arbitration is exactly what it sounds like, a clause that denies you access to the courts and forces your case to be decided by an arbitrator. In most cases, that arbitrator is chosen by the company. That’s right, in this game one of the teams gets to hire the ref. Small wonder these arbitrators find for the company in roughly 19 out of 20 cases. Giving any other decision is a good way to never get hired again.
The Alliance for Justice has produced a short documentary detailing the struggles of ordinary Americans with the injustices imposed by this system. Remember, this is not just something that could happen to you in the future. The odds are excellent that you have already signed one or more of these forced arbitration clauses, slamming the courtroom doors shut on any case you may want to bring.
Learn more about Lost in the Fine Print and forced arbitration clauses by visiting the Alliance for Justice website.
About The Author: Bridget Long is a trial attorney at Allen & Allen in Richmond, Virginia. She is an active member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and has been named a "Super Lawyer" in Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine for the past 6 years. Bridget is passionate about defending the rights of the the injured.