You Might Be Regaining A Constitutional Right You Never Knew You Lost
Let’s say a company with whom you do business does you wrong. They legitimately dropped the ball, and you got the short end of that particular stick. What would your natural recourse be? As our good friend Doug Llewelyn used to tell us “You take them to court.” Because that’s your right in the United States and that’s part of freedom. Right?
Wrong. You can’t sue them. And you’re the one who surrendered that right.
If you’ve done business with any company in the last few decades that asked you to sign any kind of contract, you likely agreed to a mandatory arbitration clause. It’s buried in the language of nearly every contract you sign, and every Terms Of Service agreement you quickly click “Agree” on. By signing that contract, you agree that should anything go wrong with this company, you will not sue them.
Business are getting you to agree to go to binding arbitration instead of court. This is like court, except it’s not court and the arbitrator can make whatever decision they want, regardless of the law. You also agreed to allow the company to pick who the arbitrator that hears the case will be. This means they can pick someone they paid to side with them — and you agreed to it.
If this smells unconstitutional, it’s because it might be.
A number of groups, like the American Association for Justice are challenging mandatory arbitration clauses as a violation of the Seventh Amendment — guaranteeing your right to a trial by jury in civil matters. These groups are making sure you, the citizen, has a fair shot when you go up against these companies who did you wrong.
Many are saying that not only are these clauses unconstitutional, but the practice of burying them under a few hundred paragraphs of legalese is completely shady.
With the AAJ’s influence and lawmakers like Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) introducing legislation to fight against mandatory arbitration — the scales of justice seem to be turning back your way. The end of this predatory practice might not be far off.
If an insurance company is trying to get out of paying you what they owe, you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Use our form below to schedule your free consultation and learn about your rights.