It seems the be the enduring economic argument of our times. Are companies more important than people?
Our politicians know the answer. Corporations pay them lots. People don’t. When will we seek a government for the people not a government for profiteers?
In 2010, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which I direct, was authorized to study mandatory arbitration and write rules consistent with the study. After five years of work, we recently finalized a rule to stop companies from denying groups of consumers the option of going to court when they are treated unfairly.
Opponents have unleashed attacks to overturn the rule, and the House just passed legislation to that end. Before the Senate decides whether to protect companies or consumers, it’s worth correcting the record.
First, opponents claim that plaintiffs are better served by acting individually than by joining a group lawsuit. This claim is not supported by facts or common sense. Our study contained revealing data on the results of group lawsuits and individual actions. We found that group lawsuits get more money back to more people. In five years of group lawsuits, we tallied an average of $220 million paid to 6.8 million consumers per year. Yet in the arbitration cases we studied, on average, 16 people per year recovered less than $100,000 total.
Not only do group lawsuits help consumers recover money they otherwise would forfeit, but they also protect many more consumers by halting and deterring harmful behavior. For example, when banks reordered bank debits to charge more overdraft fees, consumers sued and recovered $1 billion. Most banks have since stopped the practice.
Let Consumers Sue Companies https://nyti.ms/2vjWRyP