Alert March 06, 2012

Arbitration Provision Barrier to Right to Financial Privacy Act Class Action Suit

The District Court for the District of Columbia found that plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of showing that the arbitration provision in their credit card agreements was invalid and unenforceable.  The arbitration provision, which could be invoked by either party, contained a class-action waiver, preventing class representation or the consolidation of claims as part of the arbitration.  The Court held that Utah law controlled and that, under Utah law, the class-action waiver was valid.  The Court also found that under the Federal Arbitration Act, the provision was enforceable because (1) it did not prevent individual plaintiffs from pursuing injunctive relief under the Right to Financial Privacy Act; and (2) the provision was not in conflict with the RFPA, as class-wide injunctive relief was not mandated by the RFPA.  Click here for the opinion.