June 21, 2013

US Supreme Court Orders Strict Enforcement of Class Arbitration Waivers in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant – A Contract Is a Contract Is a Contract

Summary: In commanding that class action waivers be enforced according to their terms, even where the plaintiff is able to show that pursuing an individual action in arbitration would be “prohibitively costly,” the United States Supreme Court’s decision in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, No. 12-133 (June 20, 2013) will reverberate in finance, consumer, commercial and employment litigation, and virtually every potential legal landscape in which class actions would seem more attractive to plaintiffs’ counsel. Businesses should be cautioned, however, that class action waivers must be carefully drafted to avoid arguments that they interfere with the right to pursue statutory remedies.

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