by PublicCitizen 745 views
http://www.citizen.org Public Citizen attorney Deepak Gupta argued on behalf of consumers today before the U.S. Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. The case has grave implications for consumers. If AT&T wins it could mean the end of class-action lawsuits.
by PublicCitizenInc 604 views
Jeremy Warriner of Indianapolis, Ind. talks about the fiery crash in his Chrysler Jeep Wrangler that resulted in the amputation of both of his legs. The Chrysler bankruptcy could mean Warriner may not be able to hold the automaker responsible for the design flaw that caused the fire. See http://www.citizen.org for more info.
by PublicCitizen 533 views
http://www.citizen.org Public Citizen President Robert Weissman and Deepak Gupta, a Public Citizen attorney, give a telephone press briefing to provide background on the argument in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, which the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Nov. 9.
The court will decide whether companies can deny consumers and employees the right to band together through class actions to fight fraud, discrimination and other illegal practices. AT&T argues that the courts must enforce the fine print of its contracts that ban class actions. Public Citizen attorney Deepak Gupta will argue before the court on behalf of consumers, claiming that the contracts are unconscionable and unenforceable.
If AT&T wins, not only will it be difficult for AT&T's customers to hold that company accountable for its actions, but also for people with civil rights, labor, consumer and other kinds of claims that stem from corporate wrongdoing. Dozens of organizations, including leading civil rights and consumer groups, have filed briefs asking the court not to allow corporations to ban class actions. The briefs and other information about the case are available at http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/concepcion/.
When a large number of consumers have claims for small amounts, it is not feasible to pursue the claims without a class action. Concepcion is exactly that kind of case. The Concepcions allege that AT&T illegally charged them $30.11. Multiplied by the number of AT&T's California customers alone, the allegations implicate ill-gotten gains in the millions of dollars. But if consumers can litigate the claims only one by one, no one will do so, and AT&T will keep the proceeds of its illegal activity.