While it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with all the legal hot water Donald Trump is in, one lawsuit predates even his Russian troubles and now Trump wants to put an end to lawsuits like it.
For years, Trump peddled his supposed real estate expertise in a scheme called Trump University, which is not a university and it’s really not Trump. In the end, 6,000 people sued Trump in a class action lawsuit.
“They claim that the promised Donald Trump investment techniques were mostly stuff that you could find on the Internet, some of which was illegal in some of the states where the seminars took place,” she said. “They say that the promised mentoring was worthless or nonexistent, that the instructors were unqualified and that they were definitely not handpicked by Donald Trump, as he claimed.
“And transcripts of Donald Trump’s deposition … confirm that he was relatively unengaged with what went on in Trump University.”
They won $25 million and now, Trump wants to put an end to class action lawsuits altogether, which would free corporations to screw their customers with very little accountability.
While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized a new rule that would ban mandatory arbitration clauses, and would instead allow consumers to sue banks when they are wronged, the White House came out with a statement saying that when consumers sue, it’s frivolous.
“If allowed to take effect, the CFPB’s harmful rule would benefit trial lawyers by increasing frivolous class-action lawsuits; harm consumers by denying them the full benefits and efficiencies of arbitration; and hurt financial institutions by increasing litigation expenses and compliance costs (particularly for community and mid-sized institutions),” the White House said in a statement.
Source: The Week
Mandatory arbitration, while it might sound efficient, is rarely customer friendly. Most arbitrators are paid by the institution and in most cases, what they say is legally binding. Most of the time, the arbitrators rule in favor of the institution.
In a sample of 19,300 cases, arbitrators ruled in favor of consumers 5 percent of the time. Meanwhile, arbitration firms used by companies such as MasterCard, Visa, Discover Financial Services and American Express Co. won 95 percent of the disputes, the study showed.
Source: Seattle PI
Frivolous, like when Donald Trump sued a man for daring to be born with the name Donald Trump, or when he sued a Miss USA contestant, or when he sued the Chicago Tribune for doubting Trump’s Chicago building would eclipse the then Sears (and now Willis) Tower.
Altogether, Trump has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits, but despite the fact that our taxpayers pay for courts, he wants to take the option to use them away from us, unless we can afford pricey attorneys.
Class action lawsuits are democratic; they give the people a voice. In Trump’s and in Republicans’ world, though, consumer rights are inconvenient for profits. We should just shut up and when a bank-salaried arbitrator tells us we need to take it up the you-know-what, we’d better take it up the you-know-what.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images