Alert September 23, 2008

Federal Appeals Court Affirms Enforceability of Arbitration Agreement Containing Class Action Waiver

The Eighth Circuit affirmed an order compelling arbitration of a consumer class action challenging a defendant’s alleged failure to make Truth in Lending disclosures when providing pre-loaded, stored value cards. The plaintiff argued that the arbitration agreement was procedurally unconscionable because she had inadequate bargaining power and substantively unconscionable because it contained a class action waiver. Applying Missouri law, the Court held the agreement neither procedurally unconscionable because the arbitration clause was prominently and adequately disclosed, nor substantively unconscionable as plaintiff still maintained a claim for statutory damages and attorney’s fees in the arbitration. Click here for a copy of Pleasants v. American Express Companies, No. 07-3235 (8th Cir. September 9, 2008).