Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Court Compels Arbitration for Two Named Plaintiffs in Overdraft Class Action

A federal court ruled that two of three named plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit could only pursue their claims through arbitration.

The class action lawsuit alleges that Alliant Credit Union charged insufficient funds fees even when there was enough money in their checking accounts. The lawsuit was filed in September 2019 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division.

At issue is an August 2019 amendment to Alliant's membership agreement that Alliant e-mailed to plaintiff's Muniz and Cooper between July 24 and July 25, 2019.

The amendment stated that unless you opt out of this arbitration agreement, then all disputes shall be decided by arbitration and you have waived your right to participate in a class action lawsuit. The disclosures were the conspicuous and unambiguous.

The plaintiffs had 60 days to opt out of the arbitration agreement and class action waiver.

The plaintiffs claimed that they did not read the July 2019 e-mails or the hyperlinked amendments.

The court opined "[a]lthough plaintiffs claim they did not read the arbitration clause, nothing was hidden from them as they now suggest" and their silence constitutes assent to the arbitration provision.

The court granted Alliant's motion to compel arbitration for plaintiffs Muniz and Cooper.

Read the decision.

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