When older Americans suffer major injury or illness, their loved ones may find themselves under the gun, making expensive and complex decisions about their care. They’re likely to be slammed, too, with stacks of paperwork from caregiving facilities. It’s tough stuff to take in — and it too often ask them to sign documents that will boot them from constitutional protections of the civil justice system and into the secretive, private system of forced arbitration.
The U.S. Supreme Court—loaded with appointees from a business-friendly party—has backed “corporate controlled” arbitration systems in several rulings, further arming them with bans on class-action lawsuits. This has led to burgeoning injustices, cases in which “corporate wrongdoers … completely escape any legal accountability,” according to the Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School, Public Citizen, and the National Consumer Law Center.
The groups have amassed representative cases showing how forced arbitration forecloses plaintiff’s pursuit of remedies from harms in the civil justice system, as the Constitution guarantees.