Remember the other day when I told you about the guy who filed a class action lawsuit against Sony for criminal negligence then pointed out that there was probably a clause in the TOS that would prevent it, then Nick found said clause? Well, now there's another kick to Kristopher Johns' big balls making headlines today via the U.S Supreme court, who just ruled that Companies can block class action lawsuits.
An article published in the Chicago Tribune stated that the ruling stems from a California law suit involving AT&T and a $30 fee they were charging customers for mobile use:
Justice Antonin Scalia said companies may require buyers to sign arbitration agreements, and those agreements may preclude class-action claims. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. formed the majority.
Scalia said companies like arbitration because it is efficient and less costly. "Arbitration is poorly suited to the higher stakes of class litigation," he said.
But the dissenters said a practical ban on class action would be unfair to cheated consumers. Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the California courts had insisted on permitting class-action claims, despite arbitration clauses that forbade them. Otherwise, he said, it would allow a company to "insulate" itself "from liability for its own frauds by deliberately cheating large numbers of consumers out of individually small sums of money."
So basically, this ruling could change the laws so that instead of a group of people all filing for a small amount of a large lump sum each person would have to file individually for a much smaller claim making the likelihood of a claim actually being filed slim. Because let's face it, how many people are going to go through the hassle of filing a complaint, then dealing with hours of arbitration and legal documents? Probably not a lot, at least the ones with anything going on in their lives.
Personally this pisses me off as it seems to put the welfare of big businesses above the rights of the consumer and that just doesn't sit right with me. It's a said state of affairs when U.S laws protect big companies more than their citizens well being.
How this will effect this particular suit against is yet to be seen, but with both it and the AT&T suit stemming from California I wouldn't get my hopes up of Sony actually paying for their fuck up.