Hanging Up on AT&T. (Names in the News)
Mokhiber, Russell, Multinational Monitor
RULING THAT CONSUMER RIGHTS cannot be stripped way in a form contract, a federal judge in San Francisco in January found unlawful AT&T form contract provisions that required mandatory arbitration on discriminatory terms in case of consumer disputes with the company.
"AT&T sought to shield itself from liability ... by imposing legal remedies provisions that eliminate class actions, sharply curtail damages in cases of misrepresentation, fraud, and other intentional torts, cloak the arbitration process with secrecy and place significant financial hurdles in the path of a potential litigant," U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Zimmerman ruled.
"It is not just that AT&T wants to litigate in the forum of its choice -- arbitration -- it is that AT&T wants to make it very difficult for anyone to effectively vindicate her rights, even in that forum. That is illegal and unconscionable and must be enjoined."
The suit, Ting v. AT&T, is a class action on behalf of all AT&T long distance telephone customers in California. …