Category Archives: Bill of Rights

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans v. Colin Brock appeal, Thrivent nonpayment of disability benefits, Order denying Thrivent’s motion to confirm arbitration award, Brock alleges fraud corruption or other undue means

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans v. Colin Brock appeal, Thrivent nonpayment of disability benefits, Order denying Thrivent’s motion to confirm arbitration award, Brock alleges fraud corruption or other undue means

“Thrivent contends that its commitment to individual arbitration is ‘”important to the membership because it reflects Thrivent’s Christian Common Bond, helps preserve members’ fraternal relationships, and avoids protracted and adversarial litigation that could undermine Thrivent’s core mission.’”…Thrivent v. Acosta Nov. 3, 2017

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”…Matthew 7:15

“Martin Luther may or may not have stated ‘Here I Stand’ but his actions certainly did.”…Citizen Wells

 

From Thrivent Financial for Lutherans v. Colin Brock.

“This interlocutory appeal and original proceeding arise from a dispute between Colin Brock and his insurer, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (“Thrivent”) over nonpayment of disability benefits, which Brock claims Thrivent owes him under a Thrivent insurance policy.   As required by the policy, the trial court compelled the parties to arbitrate.   Following an evidentiary hearing, the arbitrator denied Brock’s claims.   Thrivent moved the trial court to confirm the arbitration award.   In turn, Brock requested the trial court to vacate the arbitration award on the ground that the award was obtained “by fraud, corruption, or other undue means.”   The trial court signed an order denying Thrivent’s motion to confirm the award, vacating the arbitration award, and directing a rehearing before a new arbitrator.   Thrivent appeals the order and also seeks review by way of a petition for writ of mandamus.   Brock contends that we have no appellate jurisdiction over the interlocutory order and requests that the petition for mandamus be denied.

We dismiss Thrivent’s interlocutory appeal for lack of jurisdiction and deny its petition for writ of mandamus.”

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/tx-court-of-appeals/1108836.html

AAL, Aid Association for Lutherans, implemented a change to their contracts, retroactively in 1999, to impose mandatory dispute resolution consisting of Appeal, Mediation and Arbitration in lieu of litigation. Their member dispute resolution program is referred to as MDRP. They claim, and many courts have upheld that they could implement and enforce the change retroactively due to their fraternal status. This has not been challenged in all states and since the states differ on how insurance entities are treated, this is still an open question.

The embracing of mandatory arbitration has become widespread in consumer and employment contracts. This has led to a huge impact on our day in court and given companies much power to control outcomes and continue unsavory practices, harmful to consumers.

This is not just a Thrivent problem or insurance problem, it is a problem affecting the daily lives of all Americans. Thrivent’s practice of using their special status is particularly unjust and alarming and runs contrary to their platitudes touted in company policies.

Thrivent v. Brock revelations and questions.
  • Brock alleges: “the award was obtained ‘by fraud, corruption, or other undue means.’”  We have no way of knowing because the MDRP, culminating in arbitration, was held behind closed doors, out of the light of day of a courtroom.
  • Brock had taken the arbitration decision to trial court and next the appeals court. How much were the legal fees?
  • Thrivent has a large legal staff and engages outside legal firms who specialize in disability cases.
  • How much time elapsed from the first disability claim to the appeals court decision and probable redo of arbitration?
  • What happened next? Arbitration? What was the outcome.
  • What is Colin Brock’s disability? Is it life threatening or painful? Is Mr. Brock getting adequate treatment?
  • Was Mr. Brock able to pay his bills? Feed a family?
  • How has the MDRP process helped Mr. Brock? Did he experience the blessings of the Christian beliefs touted by Thrivent?
  • How many Thrivent members drop out of this MDRP process for various reasons such as too engulfed in pain and stress or discouraged by improper Thrivent procedures and attitudes? Mr. George Tiedemann went through the process for 2 years and dropped out. He was 83.
  • How many Thrivent members were shocked to find out that the policy they took out years earlier, had been modified without their consent or signature?
  • How many Thrivent members sought legal representation to no avail because many attorneys will not touch a case with mandated arbitration?

 

“Thrivent’s Christian Calling

Thrivent’s Lutheran heritage of answering God’s call has led to a strong membership-owned organization that now welcomes Christians seeking to live out their faith.

Fraternal benefit societies have a common bond among members. Thrivent’s common bond is Christianity. We embrace the core Christian beliefs as articulated in the Apostles’ Creed as follows:

I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

If you share these beliefs, we invite you to join other Thrivent members called to pursue a life of generosity and wisdom with money.”

https://www.thrivent.com/about-us/files/28023.pdf

Here I stand.

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

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Thrivent insurance claims reviews, Dispute resolution program benefits members?,Christian common bond?, “Don’t use this company they hide behind the cross”

Thrivent insurance claims reviews, Dispute resolution program benefits members?, Christian common bond?, “Don’t use this company they hide behind the cross”

“Thrivent contends that its commitment to individual arbitration is “important to the membership because it reflects Thrivent’s Christian Common Bond, helps preserve members’ fraternal relationships, and avoids protracted and adversarial litigation that could undermine Thrivent’s core mission.”…Thrivent v. Acosta Nov. 3, 2017

“The MDRP is the sole means for presenting and resolving grievances, complaints, or disputes between Members, insureds, certificate owners or beneficiaries and Thrivent or Thrivent’s directors, officers, agents and employees. The MDRP reflects Thrivent’s Christian belief system and strives to preserve Members’ fraternal relationship.”…Thrivent vs Perez Sept. 29, 2016

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”…Matthew 7:15

 

Below are some reviews of Thrivent insurance claims experiences that are similar to my experiences with Thrivent.

January 17, 2017.

“First of all I’m not a insurance company or employee. I have investments, life insurance, and disability insurance with Thrivent. I have been with Thrivent for many years and trusted them. when I became disabled a year ago and could not work I filed my private disability insurance along with my SSDI. After 7 months of waiting my SSDI was approved the 1st time, Still waiting and expecting my private disability insurance to be approved by Thrivent I received a letter from them with a denial stating I could still work according to all the medical records supplied. I supplied letters from my primary doctor and the specialists treating me stating I was disabled and could not work, I sent an e-mail to Thrivent letting them know of my approval for my SSDI and I got a letter back from them stating that there standards for approval are much higher then the Federal Gov. I followed all there requirements supplied all records never had to be evaluated by Thrivent’s doctor. They just flat denied my claim with a stupid excuse. I have been working with a attorney on this claim to try and settle it. Thrivent has been stalling them every step of the way. THIS DISABILITY POLICY IS A SCAMM. They never had any attention on paying out benefits. They communicated during the process with useless letters telling me nothing about my case. and short to the point e-mails telling me nothing. I have had to put out thousands of dollars in attorney fee’s and thousands of dollars in medical treatment fee’s for out of network doctors. If I don’t qualify for there disability benefits I don’t think anyone can. I DIDNT KNOW IT WAS ME AGIANST THRIVENT INSURANCE, THAT IS HOW THEY MAKE YOU FEEL. Don’t use this company they hide behind the cross.”

Read more:

https://insurance.freeadvice.com/reviews/377/comments/Thrivent+Financial/

Nancy Bowman February 6, 2018.

“We had a very difficult time during my husband’s illness, Parkinson’s among others, getting any help from Thrivent. Their customer service people were rude and of no assistance. Of his $170.000 fund, we spent $6,000 due to their outrageous, convoluted rules written for the benefit of the company. The salesman did not explain any of these caveats when we purchased the policy and refused to take my calls. Now I need some help, in-home, due to a broken foot but am told I have to pay for 90days of help before they will begin to pay, then need a doctor’s certification that I am disabled. There is a clause stating that if a licensed Health Care Practitioner has, with a 12 month period preceding that day, (what day?) certifies that the person has a physical impairment to last at least 90 days, but it doesn’t say anything else.I am about to go to my attorney, call my Congressmen and anything else to bring this company around. They keep a client’s fund separately but then, if not used, they abscond with it. It’s our money but they act like it’s theirs. They could keep the interest, but refund the premiums not used. It’s white-collar theft and they get away with it because they are a brotherhood. I would never have done business with this company.”

Cathy February 13, 2018.

“I am working on a long-term care insurance benefit dispute for 9 months now. Thrivent refuses to pay the claim even though my mother is coming to the end of her life and is totally disabled. I received a letter today stating that Thrivent does not have to justify their reasons for not paying the claim.
I attempted to resolve the claim through the Pennsylvania Dept of Insurance who did nothing but recommend we get an attorney. I also Issued a claim with the Better Business Bureau… another complete waste of time. Thrivent pays the BBB to post an A+ rating.
Today I sent my dispute to the Attorney General’s office.
Please… let’s not let this unethical organization take our parent’s money and then hide behind red tape and ambiguity when it is time for a payout. Has anyone contacted the Lutheran Synod to find out who is promoting these crooks? Does the Lutheran Synod know that Thrivent is not paying their claims?”

Kris Boike November 3, 2016.

“After a year of paying out on my mothers Long-Term Nursing Claim, Thrivent has stopped. They continuously change their minds of what they require within the Plan of Care from the Nursing Home. This has been going on for 4-5 months now, with at least 6 different versions of the Nursing Plan of Care being submitted. Not only is this experience frustrating, expensive to now start paying Nursing Home expenses directly, they expect my mother and father to re-start paying the LT Care Premiums while we go through the appeals/Membership Resolution Process. The Claims Examiners lie/change their minds constantly to avoid paying out! Lawyer-Up people! 17 Years of paying premiums and now they want more years of premium payments to avoid paying out! Snakes!”

Read more:

https://www.expertinsurancereviews.com/insurance-company-reviews/thrivent-financial/

I have attempted to contact a Doctor who is seeking others with bad Thrivent experiences. Hopefully he will respond.

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

 

 

Declaration of Independence grievance “For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury”, July 4, 2018, Forced arbitration depriving us of our day in court

Declaration of Independence grievance “For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury”, July 4, 2018, Forced arbitration depriving us of our day in court

“Our Constitution is in actual operation; everything appears to promise that it will last; but nothing in this world is certain but death and taxes.” … Benjamin Franklin

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”…Abraham Lincoln

“Our right to our day in court has been severely eroded.”…Citizen Wells

 

July 4, 1776:

“For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury”

July 4, 2018:

Forced arbitration is depriving us of our day in court.

From Citizen Wells February 20, 2008.

“Ever since I first read the US Declaration of Independence as a child, I have loved the message, wording and spirit of this incredible declaration. I still have a copy that I framed as a child and I still look upon it with reverence. I especially love the paragraph beginning, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We should treasure these words and the entire document, never take it for granted and reread it as often as possible. My ancestor was a signer of the Tryon Resolves, almost a year before the US declaration. That fact makes the US declaration even more special for me. Here is the US Declaration of Independence:

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

https://citizenwells.com/2008/02/20/declaration-of-independence-july-4-1776-we-hold-these-truths-to-be-self-evident/

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

 

Thrivent denies 96 year old Elaine Tollefson assisted living help, Paid on policy 26 years, Fine print and appeal panel denial, What happened to spirit of law and Christianity?

Thrivent denies 96 year old Elaine Tollefson assisted living help, Paid on policy 26 years, Fine print and appeal panel denial, What happened to spirit of law and Christianity?

“Since 1999, Thrivent has required that disputes with members related to insurance products be resolved through its Member Dispute Resolution Program (“MDRP”). (See Johnston Decl. ¶ 9.) The MDRP provides for a multi-tiered dispute resolution process, escalating eventually (if necessary) to binding arbitration based on the rules of the American Arbitration Association. (See id., Ex. B at § 11(c).) Of particular relevance to this matter, the MDRP mandates that all mediation or arbitration be individual in nature—representative or class claims of any sort, whether arbitral or judicial, are expressly barred. (See id., Ex. B at § 11(e).) Thrivent contends that its commitment to individual arbitration is “important to the membership because it reflects Thrivent’s Christian Common Bond, helps preserve members’ fraternal relationships, and avoids protracted and adversarial litigation that could undermine Thrivent’s core mission.”…Thrivent v. Acosta Nov. 3, 2017

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”…Matthew 7:15

“Our right to our day in court has been severely eroded.”…Citizen Wells

 

From the Star Tribune.

“Insurance policy’s fine print trumps 96-year-old’s good faith

On her 96th birthday earlier this month, Elaine Tollefson celebrated with a visit from out-of-town grandkids to her home, an assisted living center in central Nebraska.

But there’s one birthday present she still wants from Minneapolis-based Thrivent Financial: Checks to help defray the cost of that home.

Tollefson has paid the monthly premiums on her long-term care insurance policy for 26 years. In April, Thrivent told Tollefson that she cannot collect any benefits because she did not follow her policy’s protocol of spending three days in the hospital first.

It’s a requirement no longer allowed in Nebraska, but policies that predated that law change are still valid. Like many people with long-term care policies, Tollefson learned the hard way that the help wasn’t there when she needed it.”

“For Tollefson, the insurer was more than just another company. When her husband bought their policies in 1988, he was actively involved in what was then known as Lutheran Brotherhood. Though Thrivent Financial dropped “for Lutherans” from its name earlier this year, it remains a not-for-profit membership organization, despite its Fortune 500 listing and $6.9 billion surplus generated last year. Its motto is “Connecting faith and finances for good.”

After growing up in southwestern Minnesota, Tollefson married a man named Aad (pronounced “odd”), though everyone called him Tolley. He was a chemist who worked on the Manhattan Project and then for DuPont, which transferred him all over the country. The Tollefsons had four daughters and settled in Gothenburg, Neb., a little town on the Platte River.

“I thought if I had to go on long-term care, I would have that insurance, plus my Social Security, that would take care of most everything,” Tollefson said.”

“Aad Tollefson died in 2002, having never made a claim on his policy. His widow went into the hospital for kidney failure in February 2013, but decided to move back home afterward until she could no longer make it work. That moment came in April, when she moved into the Stone Hearth Estates assisted living housing, which costs about $3,400 per month. The long-term care insurance would pay $40 a day, a little over a third of the cost, or so she thought.

But Tollefson did not qualify, because she didn’t go into institutional care within 90 days of her hospital visit.

Her grandchildren contacted her insurance agent and got the bad news. Their appeal to Thrivent’s appeal panel was rejected last month.

“The panel acknowledged your long-term association with Lutheran Brotherhood/Thrivent as well as your determination to stay in your house and remain independent as long as possible,” Thrivent wrote in its denial letter. “Your actions are indeed commendable; however, these actions cannot supersede the contract requirements.”

“Thrivent members look for and expect Thrivent to provide benefits according to the policy,” the company said in its statement to the Star Tribune.”

Read more:

http://www.startribune.com/shiffer-insurance-policy-s-fine-print-trumps-96-year-old-s-good-faith/286465911/?c=y&page=all&prepage=1#continue

Note the following:

  • “Since 1999, Thrivent has required that disputes with members related to insurance products be resolved through its Member Dispute Resolution Program (“MDRP”). Hence no litigation. No day in court. No light of day. Retroactively applies. However, not tested in all state courts.
  • “Thrivent told Tollefson that she cannot collect any benefits because she did not follow her policy’s protocol of spending three days in the hospital first.”
  • “Thrivent members look for and expect Thrivent to provide benefits according to the policy,” Thrivent quoted in article. YES INDEED!

Remember the above, these themes will be revisited.

 

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

US Supreme Court decision to uphold mandated arbitration further erodes our rights, Our day in court, “deprivation of consumers’ rights to seek redress for losses”

US Supreme Court decision to uphold mandated arbitration further erodes our rights, Our day in court, “deprivation of consumers’ rights to seek redress for losses”

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”…Karl Marx

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”…Matthew 7:15

“Our right to our day in court has been severely eroded.”…Citizen Wells

 

People around me and online may try to put me in a nice neat box such as Republican.

I do not fit.

What I am is an American who adheres to the US Constitution and rule of law.

I am not against arbitration on principle. Mutually agreed to.

I am against forced, mandated arbitration which strips away one of our basic rights.

Our day in court.

From the New York Times.

“Supreme Court Upholds Workplace Arbitration Contracts Barring Class Actions

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that companies can use arbitration clauses in employment contracts to prohibit workers from banding together to take legal action over workplace issues.

The vote was 5 to 4, with the court’s more conservative justices in the majority. The court’s decision could affect some 25 million employment contracts.

Writing for the majority, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch said the court’s conclusion was dictated by a federal law favoring arbitration and the court’s precedents. If workers were allowed to band together to press their claims, he wrote, “the virtues Congress originally saw in arbitration, its speed and simplicity and inexpensiveness, would be shorn away and arbitration would wind up looking like the litigation it was meant to displace.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, a sign of profound disagreement. In her written dissent, she called the majority opinion “egregiously wrong.” In her oral statement, she said the upshot of the decision “will be huge under-enforcement of federal and state statutes designed to advance the well being of vulnerable workers.”

Justice Ginsburg called on Congress to address the matter.

Brian T. Fitzpatrick, a law professor at Vanderbilt University who studies arbitrations and class actions, said the ruling was unsurprising in light of earlier Supreme Court decisions. Justice Gorsuch, he added, “appears to have put his cards on the table as firmly in favor of allowing class actions to be stamped out through arbitration agreements.”

As a result, Professor Fitzpatrick said “it is only a matter of time until the most powerful device to hold corporations accountable for their misdeeds is lost altogether.””

“Under those contracts, Justice Ginsburg wrote, it is often not worth it and potentially dangerous to pursue small claims individually. “By joining hands in litigation, workers can spread the costs of litigation and reduce the risk of employer retaliation,” she wrote.

The contracts may also encourage misconduct, Justice Ginsburg wrote.

“Employers, aware that employees will be disinclined to pursue small-value claims when confined to proceeding one-by-one, will no doubt perceive that the cost-benefit balance of underpaying workers tips heavily in favor of skirting legal obligations,” she wrote, adding that billions of dollars in underpaid wages are at issue.

Justice Ginsburg added that requiring individual arbitrations can produce inconsistent results in similar cases, particularly because arbitrations are often confidential.”

“In a 2015 dissent, Justice Ginsburg, citing a New York Times article examining arbitration agreements, wrote that the 2011 decision and later ones “have predictably resulted in the deprivation of consumers’ rights to seek redress for losses, and, turning the coin, they have insulated powerful economic interests from liability for violations of consumer protection laws.””

Read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/21/business/supreme-court-upholds-workplace-arbitration-contracts.html

Having experienced the abuse of mandated arbitration first hand, I agree with Justice Ginsburg.

It may be the only time it happens, but injustice is injustice.

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

Forced arbitration the hidden enemy that has eroded our basic right for our day in court, Mandated dispute resolution impact, NY Times: Stacking the deck of justice

Forced arbitration the hidden enemy that has eroded our basic right for our day in court, Mandated dispute resolution impact, NY Times: Stacking the deck of justice

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”…Karl Marx

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”…Matthew 7:15

“Our right to our day in court has been severely eroded.”…Citizen Wells

 

Citizen Wells was begun early in 2008 to write about injustice.

Because of an injustice that has been done to me, I have done extensive research on mandatory dispute resolution which increasingly is being forced upon us. It typically involves a process of appeal, mediation and binding arbitration.

The US Supreme court has further strengthened the hold it has on us in employee and employer disputes in a recent decision.

We have all been concerned about our Bill of Rights, especially First and Second Amendment rights.

But our day in court is also important and it has been eroded little by little in most of the contracts that affect our daily life from consumer phone contracts and employment contracts to insurance contracts.

We can no longer assume that if a contract we have with a company is breached that we can just take them to court. And the companies (wolves in sheep’s clothing) control much of the process.

From the NY Times October 31, 2015.

“Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice”

“On Page 5 of a credit card contract used by American Express, beneath an explainer on interest rates and late fees, past the details about annual membership, is a clause that most customers probably miss. If cardholders have a problem with their account, American Express explains, the company “may elect to resolve any claim by individual arbitration.”

Those nine words are at the center of a far-reaching power play orchestrated by American corporations, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

By inserting individual arbitration clauses into a soaring number of consumer and employment contracts, companies like American Express devised a way to circumvent the courts and bar people from joining together in class-action lawsuits, realistically the only tool citizens have to fight illegal or deceitful business practices.

Over the last few years, it has become increasingly difficult to apply for a credit card, use a cellphone, get cable or Internet service, or shop online without agreeing to private arbitration. The same applies to getting a job, renting a car or placing a relative in a nursing home.

Among the class actions thrown out because of the clauses was one brought by Time Warner customers over charges they said mysteriously appeared on their bills and another against a travel booking website accused of conspiring to fix hotel prices. A top executive at Goldman Sachs who sued on behalf of bankers claiming sex discrimination was also blocked, as were African-American employees at Taco Bell restaurants who said they were denied promotions, forced to work the worst shifts and subjected to degrading comments.

Some state judges have called the class-action bans a “get out of jail free” card, because it is nearly impossible for one individual to take on a corporation with vast resources.”

“By banning class actions, companies have essentially disabled consumer challenges to practices like predatory lending, wage theft and discrimination, court records show.

“This is among the most profound shifts in our legal history,” William G. Young, a federal judge in Boston who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, said in an interview. “Ominously, business has a good chance of opting out of the legal system altogether and misbehaving without reproach.”

“More than a decade in the making, the move to block class actions was engineered by a Wall Street-led coalition of credit card companies and retailers, according to interviews with coalition members and court records. Strategizing from law offices on Park Avenue and in Washington, members of the group came up with a plan to insulate themselves from the costly lawsuits. Their work culminated in two Supreme Court rulings, in 2011 and 2013, that enshrined the use of class-action bans in contracts. The decisions drew little attention outside legal circles, even though they upended decades of jurisprudence put in place to protect consumers and employees.”

“Corporations said that class actions were not needed because arbitration enabled individuals to resolve their grievances easily. But court and arbitration records show the opposite has happened: Once blocked from going to court as a group, most people dropped their claims entirely.”

“Law enforcement officials, though, say they have lost an essential tool for uncovering patterns of corporate abuse. In a letter last year to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, attorneys general in 16 states warned that “unlawful business practices” could flourish with the proliferation of class-action bans.”

“The consequences of arbitration clauses can be seen far beyond the financial sector. Even lawsuits that would not have been brought by a class have been forced out of the courts, according to the Times investigation. Taking Wall Street’s lead, businesses — including obstetrics practices, private schools and funeral homes — have employed arbitration clauses to shield themselves from liability, interviews and arbitration and court records show.

Thousands of cases brought by single plaintiffs over fraud, wrongful death and rape are now being decided behind closed doors. And the rules of arbitration largely favor companies, which can even steer cases to friendly arbitrators, interviews and records show.”

Read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/business/dealbook/arbitration-everywhere-stacking-the-deck-of-justice.html?_r=0

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/

 

Patriot Mark Robinson sets Greensboro City Council straight on gun rights, Youtube video, When are you going to stand up for the majority?, I’m the majority, Gun show controversy

Patriot Mark Robinson sets Greensboro City Council straight on gun rights, Youtube video, When are you going to stand up for the majority?, I’m the majority, Gun show controversy

“Weaker people, whether at school, at home or elsewhere are best protected from stronger people, with ill intent, by guns and proper security measures.”…Citizen Wells

“Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA – ordinary citizens don’t need guns, as their having guns doesn’t serve the State.”…Heinrich Himmler

“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good”…George Washington

 

Mark Robinson, a lifelong citizen of Greensboro, NC, gives an unscripted, from the heart speech about his gun rights and the ultimate safety of his family before the Greensboro City Council.

 

From the News & Observer.

“‘Come hell or high water,’ citizens will keep gun rights, NC man vows in viral video”

“A North Carolina man’s 4-minute take on gun laws echoed well beyond the city council chambers where he shared it Tuesday afternoon.

Greensboro resident Mark Robinson’s speech went viral after U.S. Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina shared it on Facebook on Wednesday morning. By Friday, the clip had been viewed more than 3.2 million times.

Robinson spoke during a public comment period in which several people shared thoughts on a gun and knife show slated for late summer at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan previously proposed canceling the show in response to the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting that killed 17 people in February.”

“Robinson asked city leaders “when are you all going to start standing up for the majority?” – a group he said includes himself, as “a law-abiding citizen who’s never shot anybody, never committed a serious crime, never committed a felony.”

“I’ve never done anything like that, but it seems like every time we have one of these shootings, nobody wants to put the blame where it goes, which is at the shooter’s feet,” Robinson said at the meeting. “You want to put it at my feet.”

Robinson, who is black, is among the minority of male gun owners. Only 24 percent of non-white males said they owned a gun, while 48 percent of white men said they own a gun in 2017, making them the most likely demographic to own a gun, according to the Pew Research Center.

Robinson said he would turn in his guns if a new law required it, but said the law wouldn’t deter criminals from keeping their weapons.

“And guess who’s gonna to be the one that suffers? It’s gonna be me,” he said. “ … Our rights are the ones that are being taken away – that’s the reason why I came down here today. Gun show or no gun show, NRA or no NRA, I’m here to stand up for the law abiding citizens of this community.””

Read more:

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article208049249.html

God bless Mr. Robinson.

I hope to meet him.

 

 

More here:

https://citizenwells.com/

http://citizenwells.net/