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Class Action Lawsuits = Cash Cows for attorneys
Many times, class action lawsuits are cash cows for trial lawyers with consumers getting little to no money back for their claims. A few years ago, Sears and their Automotive repair division got hit with a class action lawsuit over mechanics having to meet sales quotas which led to unnecessary repairs, even to the point of replacing perfectly good parts. The plaintiff's lawyer in the case walked away with millions in so-called attorney's fees and the plaintiffs walked away with coupons for percentages off of future repairs (like I am going to take my car back to a shop that ripped me off in the first place). So in a way, these arbitration clauses protect consumers (from cash hungry plaintiff's lawyers). If you look at the fine print of these arbitration agreements, you still have the right to go to small claims court for certain types of claims.
Yes there are a lot of bad class action suits. But you would hope they would shake out of the system before reaching court. But this decision is a slap down to all class action suits.
Should we give back money to the tobacco companies?
I cant believe it, it is such a stab in the back to the american people. What does this mean? You buy a fed judge but not state judge? I cant believe such a decision was made? Especially in light of at&t buying t-moble. At&t has mazde it clear, that grandfather contracts will not be honored. And t-mobile 3g will not work on their network either. Looks like at$t has it's future sowed up quite nicely.