Cnet has a good article discussing Matt Spaccarelli’s recent victory against AT&T. It notes that AT&T forced him to go to small claims court specifically because the contract signed by him prohibited the ability of a class action lawsuit. The Supreme Court ruled in 2011 to uphold a company’s right to include a clause in contracts prohibiting subscribers from suing the company as part of a class action.
At this point, Mr. Spaccarelli’s only two options were an arbitration program, funded entirely by AT&T, or file in small claims court. CNET’s article notes that many consumer advocates believe that allowing wireless carriers to completely opt out of class action lawsuits is unfair as it will lead to different outcomes in cases which involve essentially the same facts. Very interesting.