PUBLIC CITIZEN MEDIA ADVISORY
Nov. 4, 2010
Contact: Angela Bradbery (202) 588-7741
Dorry Samuels (202) 588-7742
U.S. Supreme Court Must Not Let Corporations Kill Class Actions, Public Citizen to Argue
U.S. Supreme Court Case Could Have Huge Implications for Consumer and Employee Protections, Civil Rights
WHAT: The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear a case that could lead to the death of class-action lawsuits. In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, the justices will decide whether to allow companies to eradicate consumer and employee class actions simply by inserting a provision in the fine print of their take-it-or-leave-it contracts. The case could allow corporations to bar individuals from banding together in class actions to pursue claims against them. If the court agrees with AT&T, then corporations effectively will be immune from accountability in court for a wide range of illegal or unfair practices they commit against customers and employees. The case could have dire consequences for anyone filing civil rights, labor, consumer and other kinds of claims that stem from corporate wrongdoing.
Public Citizen attorney Deepak Gupta will argue before the court on behalf of consumers, claiming the contracts are unconscionable and unenforceable.
Because many consumer claims are small for each individual, it is not feasible to pursue them without a class action. Concepcion is exactly that kind of case. The Concepcions allege that AT&T illegally charged them $30.22. Multiplied across AT&Ts California customers alone, the allegations implicate ill-gotten gains in the millions of dollars. If consumers can only litigate the claims one by one, no one will do so, and companies that do as AT&T did will keep the proceeds of their illegal activity. Dozens of organizations, including leading civil rights and consumer groups, have filed briefs asking the court not to allow corporations to ban class actions.
The briefs and other information about the case are available at http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/concepcion/ .
WHEN:10 a.m. EST, Tuesday, Nov. 9
WHERE:U.S. Supreme Court Building, 1 First St. N.E., Washington, D.C.
WHO:Deepak Gupta, Public Citizen attorney
Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org .