Think you have the right to sue? Think again if you entered into a contract that says you cannot sue, but rather you have to arbitrate. This is the principle just affirmed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals in CrowdSuit, LLC, vs. AT&T Mobility, LLC.
In CrowdSuit, it took assignment of claims of subscribers to AT & T's wireless data plan. The theory of CrowdSuit's case what that AT&T improperly suppressed wireless network speeds or duped consumers. AT&T responded to the proposed class action suit by relying on its contract clause that prohibited individuals from being part of a class action suit against AT & T and that required all claims of this value to be arbitrated - both being clauses in its contract with consumers.
Summary judgment was granted to AT&T at the district court level and affirmed on appeal. Procedurally, this was a very, very good success for AT&T.
The options then for resolving disputes include arbitration and some forms of intermediate, forced mediation. The upside to precluding litigation is lack of publicity, lack of class-action claims against you, and a cheaper process. But, the other edge of the sword on the expense front is that cheaper processes means more people may be able to afford to bring an expensive claim against you.
Check your contracts for limitations that will serve your goals. If you don't know what you have, call me for a review and guidance.
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