Over the last 10 years, thousands of businesses nationwide, from large corporations to small mom-and-pop shops, have started to use standard arbitration clauses as part of their contracts to effectively create an alternate system of justice. In arbitration, the rules tend to favor the businesses, and the judges and juries have been replaced by arbitrators who are unsurprisingly in bed with their company clients. The bottom line is that arbitration has deprived injured or wronged individuals of a fundamental right: their day in court.
Simple Phrase, So Much Meaning
Arbitration clauses are simple phrases added to contracts that most employees and consumers do not generally even read or take notice of. However, at stake are claims of sexual harassment, hate crimes, medical malpractice, discrimination, elder abuse and even wrongful death.
Case in point is the family of a 94-year-old woman at a nursing facility who died from a head wound that had been left to fester that was ordered to go to arbitration. Another woman, who tried to sue Honda over injuries she said she suffered due to faulty brakes, was also ordered to go to arbitration. Even a cruise ship employee who said she was drugged and raped in her cabin by two crew members could not sue her employer over negligence in an unsafe workplace. The list goes on, but one thing remains constant: these injured and wronged individuals have been deprived of a legal justice system that was designed as a tool to protect their legal rights against deceitful and fraudulent corporations and businesses.
A Win for Businesses Means a Loss for Consumers & Individuals
For business, the allure of arbitration clauses became more appealing after a 2011 Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for them to use these clauses to ban class action lawsuits. However, for consumers, this ban of joining together as a large group to fight the large corporations often means giving up on their claims altogether. This is not because they are unwilling to pursue their legal rights, but rather that they cannot fight large corporations and their vast resources alone.
During arbitration, proceedings can easily evolve into a legal free-for-all. Companies can pay their employees to testify in their favor and what were once witnesses in favor of the plaintiffs can effectively work for the defense. Even more upsetting is the fact that most of the “neutral” arbitrators are in fact on the side of the companies accused of the wrongdoing.
Call a New York Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured or wronged by a corporation or other company, you need to take the right steps to protect your legal rights. For more information or to consult with one of our experienced New York personal injury attorneys, please call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-800-529-9997.