In the News

The Absolute Absurdity of Blanket Corporate Immunity

From The American Prospect: 05/08/2020.

"There is almost no institution less vulnerable than the corporation, which McConnell has nonetheless placed at the top of the list of his bailout priorities. 'We were shocked because the public wants more than anything to feel safe, and if no one is accountable no one is safe,' said Linda Lipsen, CEO of the American Association for Justice. 'But we’re not surprised because the majority leader has been trying to immunize corporate conduct for 34 years.'"

Mitch McConnell should not use this crisis to advance his ‘tort reform’ agenda

From The Washington Post: 05/03/2020.

"The Senate majority leader may have powerful business lobbies behind him, but he still risks violating what is, or should be, a cardinal rule for both parties during the crisis: Do not exploit it to pursue preexisting policy agendas. Curbing class-action and other lawsuits on behalf of workers and consumers — “tort reform” — has been on the GOP wish list for years, and Mr. McConnell apparently sees an opportunity to advance it, using critical state and local budget shortfalls as leverage."

Democrats, tort lawyers pan McConnell’s liability immunity idea

From Roll Call: 04/29/2020.

"Linda Lipsen, the CEO of the American Association of Justice, said the economy won’t restart if people feel they are at risk and can’t hold those responsible. 'There are more than 50,000 dead Americans and counting and our economy is at a standstill, yet Leader McConnell and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce want to give immunity to corporations that harm consumers and workers by not taking precautions against COVID-19,' she said."

Why A Judge Made Uber Create An Email Address

From Jalopnik: 12/16/2019.

"Among the many provisions that make this clear is the arbitration provision, which requires drivers to settle disputes with the company in private, closed-door proceedings decided by an arbitrator paid by Uber rather than in court. It also prevents them from joining class-action lawsuits such as over their employment status as independent contractors."

Read the full article here.

More than half of Maine employers may be forcing workers to sign away their right to sue

From Maine Beacon: 12/03/2019.

"An estimated 56 percent of Maine employers may have made it impossible for their workers to sue them in court for wage theft, safety hazards, sexual harassment, racial discrimination or other violations protected by labor laws."

Read the full article here.

Tech Companies’ Big Reveal: Hardly Anyone Files Arbitration Claims

From the American Prospect: 11/26/2019.

"Some new statistics from the nation’s leading tech firms on arbitration serve as evidence for an argument that critics of the practice have long contended: that forced arbitration clauses in consumer and employment contracts build barriers to disputing the conduct of large companies."

Read the full article here.

Beware two nasty contract provisions

From the Chicago Tribune: 11/19/2019.

"Welcome to the world of adhesion contracts: Contracts that include terms that are unfavorable to you but over which you had no chance to bargain. Amtrak's policy went into effect last January, but it finally came to the attention of public officials last week, some of whom don't like it. But it's hardly anything new: All sorts of companies have been using contracts of adhesion for years. Although details differ, in travel, the two worst provisions are mandatory arbitration of disputes and forum clauses."

Amtrak’s new ticket rules won’t let passengers sue in a crash

From Politico: 11/08/2019.

"But if such a crash happened today, the victims would not be able to sue. That’s because of a clause the passenger rail line quietly added to its ticket purchases in January, which forces disputes into arbitration with no right to go before a judge or jury."

Read the full article here.

How the Google walkout transformed tech workers into activists

From the Los Angeles Times: 11/06/2019.

"They were approached by the American Assn. for Justice, a nonprofit lobbying group for plaintiffs’ lawyers that was pushing a bill to ban mandatory arbitration across the U.S. Soon, the employee group, End Forced Arbitration, began organizing phone banks, launching educational campaigns, and organizing trips to lobby legislators in Washington, D.C., in their personal time."

These Women Know How to Save the World—All We Have to Do Is Listen

From Harper's Bazaar: 11/06/2019.

"For our 2019 Women Who Dare series, Gretchen Carlson calls up Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to discuss the prevalent—but little-known about—arbitration clauses in employment contracts, how they protect harassers and muzzle sexual assault survivors, and why we need to abolish them for good."

Read the full article here.


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