An Elegy For The Class-Action Lawsuit


Not a difficult choice for the average company.

Companies hate class-action lawsuits, because they’re expensive to fight, eminently losable, occasionally irritatingly multiplicative and often extremely embarrassing. Which is, of course, why the rest of us love them. But nothing so beautiful can ever stay, especially when corporate America enjoys a majority on the Supreme Court. And so we may be living in the final days of these exquisite disasters—and we mourn.

The percentage of companies using arbitration clauses to preclude class-action claims soared to 43% last year from 16% in 2012, according to a survey of nearly 350 companies conducted by management-side law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt LLP.

Fueling the trend is a 2011 Supreme Court ruling that upheld such agreements. The result, say lawyers on both sides of the issue, has been a notable decline in actions that accuse corporations of wage theft, discrimination, and other systemic violations of labor laws.

More Companies Block Employees From Filing Suits [WSJ]