The 9th Circuit dealt with this in another case. "On the assumption that Brown's narrative is true, this case displays a dark side of our nation's policy in favor of arbitration. When a defendant in a judicial forum refuses to respond to a complaint that is properly filed and served, the court has the power to enter and enforce a default judgment. Arbitration works differently. The American Arbitration Association could not compel Dillard's to pay its share of the filing fee, and in the absence of the fee it could not proceed. Brown had no choice but to come to court. Many people in Brown's position would simply have given up. Because she did not, we have the occasion to make clear that when an employer enters into an agreement requiring its employees to arbitrate, it must participate in the process or lose its right to arbitrate."
From a business stand point, of course they would. Most of these cases will at best require time and money to sort out, and at worse cost them even more money (compensating a driver for damages or lost wages). So why wouldn't they let these get tied up in bureaucracy until the drivers decide it's not worth the effort?
Force arbitration is bullshit and anti-consumer.
Definitely. I love this quote further down in the article:
> Last June, for instance, I wrote about a Fitbit lawyer’s all-too-candid admission that no rational litigant would pay a $750 filing fee to arbitrate a claim over a product that costs $162 – a concession that plaintiffs' lawyers called the “ugly truth” about mandatory arbitration clauses.
Sometimes it's not about the money - sometimes it's about sending a message.
I'm saying this is a dangerous line of thinking. What happens when someone does spend the money? Or finances a large group of people to exercise their rights?
(Recall the Gawker case - they threat modeled that Hulk Hogan couldn't afford to seek relief in the courts. But they pissed off someone much richer than Hogan, who was happy to help him access legal relief.)
Let's assume their average cost is $200 and yours is $800. Are you willing to spend a million dollars to cost Fitbit $250k? This wouldn't hurt Fitbit much, and it's going to be a lot of work to find, vet, and distribute money to the 1,250 people who are willing to undergo arbitration.
Even if your plan worked, you'd just have spent a bunch of money to make Fitbit live up to some of the legal obligations it was using arbitration to avoid. This wouldn't change anything going forward.
The main benefit would be to the people who got their $162 in value. If that's your goal, you could help a lot more of those people if you just gave each of them $162 rather than spending $750 to help them go through the process.
Or you could spend your millions lobbying to change the laws so Fitbit can't require arbitration with a $750 fee.
Important rhetorical question (spoken kindly, despite word choice): Whose message? As in, who gets to send this message that's alluded to? It will be a certain sort of person, with a certain sort of capacity, and anyone else who wants to send a message can get f*cked. The resulting state of any system will reflect this asymmetry.
(Not implying that you were saying the above was fair, just wanted to draw out this aspect for others that the "message" line might resonate with :)
But Uber, what do they actually do well ? Besides executing on that whole "startup" thing of fomenting civil disobedience, greenwashing it as "sharing", and then capturing it to install themselves as new less-accountable middlemen? This type of grossly incompetent mishandling is exactly the kind of thing we need to demonstrate how ridiculous it is to even entertain these eval(input()) clauses in "contracts".
It’s compounded by the facts as the litigates previously sued and Uber moved to have the class action litigation compelled to arbitration individually, wherein there were representations Uber made to the court (which now appear to be lies) and a court order of arbitration Uber also appears to be violating.
A clever enough lawyer may even circumvent any waiver of class action provision on the same legal arguments for all such litigants with similar claims.
Voting with your wallet works if a majority of people understand the issue and vote the same way. Here you're just creating problems for yourself.
Not that the enthusiasm isn't good :)
No, but it’s one parameter worth considering. I never stated that it was the only deciding factor.
Life is not binary.
Move slow and break things now? I guess whatever feeds the VC's.
What about two parties choosing arbitration as a clause in the contract they enter into together?
"In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread."
For example you should be able to get out of a contract with the same ease as you got in.
(also I am still a bit baffled, it took one hour to sign my contract at my gym and 1h30 at the bank to open an account, this symmetry principle might not play in my favor in the US).
In effect you've taken a process out of an independent court and put it with a private business which is being paid by one of the parties. Seems super sketchy even to the point of criminality.
They can. 9 U.S. Code § 10:
(a) In any of the following cases the United States court in and for the district wherein the award was made may make an order vacating the award upon the application of any party to the arbitration—
(1) where the award was procured by corruption, fraud, or undue means;
(2) where there was evident partiality or corruption in the arbitrators, or either of them;
(3) where the arbitrators were guilty of misconduct in refusing to postpone the hearing, upon sufficient cause shown, or in refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material to the controversy; or of any other misbehavior by which the rights of any party have been prejudiced; or
(4) where the arbitrators exceeded their powers, or so imperfectly executed them that a mutual, final, and definite award upon the subject matter submitted was not made.
Uber is contractually required to pay the up-front arbitration fees so that the JAMS arbitrations can move forward. I super-slow-walks the process. What is the remedy?
Well, JAMS itself does not really have a remedy. It is a private organization that moves forward with the arbitration process as its rules are complied with and as it gets paid.
Nor is there an obvious remedy in the courts for individual failings in this or that arbitration procedure. Courts normally are not even involved in such processes.
Only when a clear pattern emerges (as it now has) can a court intervene to remedy a problem such as this.
In the meantime, what has happened? A lot of time has passed. A lot of the claimants (I am sure) have become discouraged and have possibly lost their motivation to move forward with their claims. And Uber has moved well along the path toward ultimate success in winning it all in its market, currently resting on a valuation of $120B.
Is any of this defensible? No. Will Uber try to defend it? Yes, through double-talk and prevarication. Will it be doing so in good faith? Not at all. Will the aggrieved drivers be able to overcome it? Perhaps, but they will likely get too little, too late. And, for Uber, it will be a historic liability that vanishes into the ether as it looks backwards on eventually settling the claims while basking in its massive success.
In a just world, things like this should not happen and perhaps Uber will be upended by something or other along the way anyway. But this sort of cynical abuse of legal processes in neither rare nor the exception in cases where modern litigants have the means and opportunity to gain massively from the abuses. It is not the exception but the rule.
And this in turn illustrates the obvious limits of using law as a solution for society's problems. The law can and does help solve problems to a point. But it is always subject to abuse and, in the end, money, power, and corrupt motives often work to undercut its effectiveness. This sort of case is Exhibit A to prove the point.
This problem is a result of people being prevented from using the normal legal process to handle their disputes. "The limits of the law" only applies here so far the Supreme Court has ever-expansively applied the Federal Arbitration Act to override the laws of the states.
So the government completely fails one of the few major domestic duties it has and this is excusable? What should people do? Revolt? Kill the Uber CEO? Or plan C, other type of violence? Because without a working government, what recourse do people have? Why should people hold up their end of the social contract if the government doesn't hold up its own?
These clauses are just more corporate abuse.
In the long run I think this kind of practice will only hurt Uber - they have huge issues with driver retention any way, and their dream of self driving cars is laughable. Lyft (who's only a little better, but still better) will continue to gain ground in the US especially and will eventually become the market leader in mobility.
The same lyft and not Uber that is suing NYC to not pay minimum wage of $17.22?
I'm not saying Uber is an angel, but neither is Lyft and at the end of the day both of them are businesses that'll look after themselves first.
I think it's a fair argument if we don't want Uber to monopolize the whole market.
I'm also seeing things like popup more frequently like NET90 payment terms... or accounting departments that won't pay someone unless they fill out a form 100% correctly (oh, and BTW if you fill out the form incorrectly they'll sit on their hands and NOT notify you... so you basically only find out via nagging).
If I owed my bank money you think I could sit around twiddling my thumbs waiting for them to guess what the proper request format is?
I recently had a company tell me that they only accept invoices ONE DAY A MONTH and there's nothing I can do about it. Uh, excuse me?
Forced arbitration is another wonderful example of course. Just sit around basically in a siege knowing that almost no individual person can outlast you (basically Uber's business model anyway, undercut the competition and put them out of business with time).
So in that vein: Fuck GE Healthcare. They have NET120 and they will do all the things you and I have described and more in order to put off payment to small businesses for as long as possible.
I didn't get a check from them until their stuff broke (had nothing to do with my software but they thought it did) and I refused to help them until I got paid.
Whaddayaknow, I had a check overnighted to me with early morning delivery!
Basically a contract that would be fine if the corp doesn't play shenanigans, and wouldn't if they do.
The best I manage is having projects wherey ou bill half up front, and half on completion (or similar), though some companies also don't allow that.
The onyl time that changes is when terms ae totally ridiculous like GE and the 120 days. At that point it just isn't worth it. One client has annoyed me so much with late payment etc. forms, and just being a pain, that I've refused to deal with them again. It isn't worth the time.
As I was reading the complaint about net 90 I was thinking about GE and the unheard of 120 day terms. I'm glad it isn't just me.
The company I work at has only about 100 people, but we sell to large companies like the Fortune 500. Our payment terms have been net 90 the whole time I've worked here. Pain in the ass for reporting, but we'd be loath to do anything that might jeopardize closing a deal.
I'm all for Uber drivers making more money but they filed a class action lawsuit asking for a different compensation structure than what was offered. They knew the deal when they signed up and it seems like a sketchy attorney took on their case for a big pay day and when that was thrown out they're now taking this next step. If I sign an agreement with an employer about my compensation, I don't have a realistic expectation that I'd be able to sue them when they continue to do what they told me they'd do and I'm no longer happy with it (my recourse is to walk away and work somewhere that better matches what I'm looking for).
Frivolous lawsuits drive up the cost for customers almost everywhere. It's a big reason why medical costs are so high. People see a big organization that has some cash and they think they can file a suit as a way to quick riches.
This is asserted with confidence but with zero facts presented. A poster on this thread cites some numbers as putting the cost of malpractice insurance at 2.4% of the total cost of health care spending. For a comparison, I spend a lot more on car insurance as percent of the cost of driving a car.
The reason why so many are sure that litigation is making their life expensive is ideological. Maybe it is true, and certainly in some cases litigation is very expensive. But think about where you hear about it. A random guy on the street is very worrying about ambulance chasing lawyers driving up costs of health care. But Apple suing Samsung or Qualcomm for billions of dollars is of no concern.
I don't know.
The drugs stopped my symptoms in their tracks, a clear confirmation they were right and that before the lab could have replied even if they had done their job correctly. They had nobody trained to do it, though, and substituted a basically useless test instead. A week later the doc gets the results and that was the only time I ever heard him curse (this was also my wife's employer, I saw a lot more of him than a patient would.) If he had a microscope he could have done the proper test in 10 minutes (He worked with Doctors Without Borders and thus had more clinical experience with malaria than a specialist would.) $200 down the drain because he felt the need to CYA. It should have been try the drugs first and if they don't work then you investigate.
That’s a decent amount of money but I wouldn’t call it a big reason. One of the problems with bringing health care costs down is that there aren’t any big reasons for it, just lots and lots of little ones.
EX: Their are 1.1 million doctors assuming 250k average salary it adds up around 275 billion ish which seems huge, except that’s out of 2.2 trillion in US heathcare spending. So, that’s only adds up to around 10 percent of total spending. And malpractice insurance is well below what a doctor makes on average.
Pills, buildings, janitors, machines, etc all add up.
They probably have stories of malpractice insurance not working that well, creating ruin for the doctors because of a relatively uncommon event, much like patients using the medical system.
The same is true for food companies, software companies, and furniture companies, yet we don't see rapidly rising costs in those areas.
I've seen that bandied around for as long as I've lived. But considering that in the 90's there was a significant push to limit damages to a multitude of "people" (doctors and med companies), I'm going to need some citations for this claim.
My counterclaim why medicine is so damned expensive in this country, is people are willing to pay for it. Not like they have any other good choices. (Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2018/11/26/why-prescr... --- because they can)
The actual problem is vendor lock-in and the conflict of interest in those who choose the vendor.
There should be a law that allows you to pick whichever arbitrator you want (within limits, like picking court jurisdiction), rather than being forced into a single vendor.
Many journal require that authors submit along with an "ORCID" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORCID .
Thus, there's no way to publish in many journals without this agreement.
Oh, and the ORCID says registration can be done in "three easy steps" which takes only "30 seconds".
Yes, they basically say they don't expect people to read the terms of service as part of the registration!
If a contract can be negotiated on an individual basis between the contracting parties, fine, permit mandatory arbitration. However, mandatory arbitration should not be permitted otherwise because to do otherwise puts the lesser party at a distinct disadvantage, especially when all market participants include these clauses. For example, is it a "choice" about mandatory arbitration when both of the Internet providers serving my address have contracts of adhesion that include no-opt-out-clause mandatory arbitration? It is not.
At the bare minimum, the law should state that contracts of adhesion must include a 60-day opt-out clause for mandatory arbitration, with notice of opting out being provided via some reasonable means (e.g. not via Telex to a disused closet in Boca Raton). If arbitration is so great, let it stand on its own legs without being imposed by one side of the contract.
Let's say forced arbitration is acceptable (IMO, it's not). Why not make Uber provide a guarantee that arbitration must begin no later than 60 days after the claim is filed? Or would that be another example of the socialist regulations that are ruining free enterprise in America?