Nobody likes to be sued – including T-Mobile. Getting sued by lots of people who are all mad for the same reason is even worse. To avoid this, T-mobile plugged arbitration clauses into their service agreements to keep customers from filing class action lawsuits, instead requiring that legal matters are settled out of court. It’s a common thing; most contracts having something along those lines tucked away inside. It doesn’t seem to be working too well for T-Mobile, though.
This morning, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from T-Mobile to nullify 3 class action lawsuits aimed in their direction. While federal law lends to the enforcement of arbitration clauses, a number of states (including those where the suits were filed) have their own laws that allow courts to refuse class action suit related clauses. T-Mobile’s lawyers claimed that the federal laws preempt the state laws — but, in this case, the Supreme Court says otherwise, allowing the cases to proceed.