TorteDeForm

Kia Franklin

Hardships of Arbitration Worse for Deployed Soldier, Article Says

What would it feel like to make a huge sacrifice for your country, only to find that the legal rights that you thought your country embraced--constitutional rights that are cherished and relied upon to ensure that justice is available to all people--had been stolen from you with the stroke of a pen? On MoJo blog, Stephanie Mencimer considers this in her follow-up blog to her story from yesterday on the perils of arbitration.

Today's story ends with a moral even more troubling than yesterday's: it doesn't matter if you're serving your country or serving french fries, we're all equally susceptible to the abuses of arbitration. Excerpt from the article below:

...The rules in arbitration are a lot different than the regular courts, in ways that create hardships for consumers. Those hardships are a lot worse if you happen to be deployed to Iraq.

...Of course, the public also bears the cost of sleazy car dealers and finance companies, too, in a far more direct way, as Longo's client discovered. While Hantler is on the public speaking circuit selling tort reform to business groups, Longo's client, who might tell the other side of that story, has been instructed by the military to stay out of the press. Longo asked that we not publish his client's name, but he says the case is a classic example of why most consumers are much better off in the traditional legal system rather than in private arbitration.

This guy can't even speak out about what's happened to him. What a good reminder that we should cherish at the very least our freedom to challenge the abuses of arbitration by speaking our minds and spreading the word about how it impacts real-life consumers. The business groups who are taking advantage of consumers and the law by slipping arbitration provisions into every-day contracts all stealth-style, are certainly exercising their rights to speak out in favor of the use of arbitration clauses against consumers. But this isn't only about speaking out--it's about demanding that actions be taken. This is about legal rights--not just as concepts but as they affect the quality of real people's lives.

Share this story with others and start a conversation. Read the whole thing here.

Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 1:44 PM, Nov 27, 2007 in Arbitration
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Comments

I saw how our soldiers, even those totally disabled were treated at the state affairs committe in Austin it was enough to make you sick. Our soldiers living in deplorable conditions and those who desposed of our 7th amendment rights could care less about any of us and especially our brave men in uniform. What a slap in the face, it is disgracful.
Read my report on how the soldiers' and their wives were treated google my name: Jordan Fogal

An aside...
Consumers cringe as holidays approach after housing debacle
Some just wish they had a home for Christmas
The “Lemon Lady,” Houston grandmother Jordan Fogal, testifies colorfully against Texas homebuilder mandatory binding arbitration provisions to a congressional subcommittee in Washington:

The first night in our new home, my husband decided to try out his new Jacuzzi tub on the third floor. When he pulled the plug, one hundred gallons of water crashed through our dining room ceiling. . . .

Well, this was not one overlooked plumbing connection, as my husband so desperately wanted to believe. It was a preview of coming attractions. Rainwater, from outside, sprayed us at the kitchen table. – The windows were installed upside down (our builder finally admitted this after three years). Our floors buckled and black spider-webs of mold crawled up our walls; the smell grew worse; then shower wall fell out and little puffballs grew out of the carpet. All the while, we had begged our builder to please fix our house.

We had the mold tested by an accredited laboratory, and they said they had never seen toxic readings that high in an inhabited dwelling.

The story of Fogal’s Hyde Park Crescent home was detailed in Mother Jones magazine two years ago; she also plays a part in this Houston Press report about the lucky owner of another Tremont Homes/Jorge Casimiro opus.

Written Testimony Submitted by Jordan Fogal To The Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law: “Mandatory Binding Arbitration Agreements: Are They Fair For Consumers?” [U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, ]
Home Sour Home [Mother Jones]
Ownership Wrongs [Houston Press]

Posted by: Jordan Fogal | November 30, 2007 1:25 AM

Well said! Thanks.

Posted by: Kia | November 30, 2007 12:26 PM