Big Business Wins—Court OKs Antitrust Class Action Waivers

, New York Law Journal

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Melvyn B. Ruskin and Natasha A. Moskvina
Melvyn B. Ruskin and Natasha A. Moskvina

The second trend, although not articulated by the majority, is a recognition of the reality that the federal court system is overburdened and the high court will apparently utilize all tools at its disposal to force cases into arbitration.

As a final observation, we note that the holding in American Express will, in time, have the likely effect of eliminating private class actions as a mechanism to enforce the antitrust laws. Accordingly, it is incumbent upon government agencies to step up their own enforcement efforts in order to assure that our country's antitrust laws remain effective.

Melvyn B. Ruskin is a founder and partner of Ruskin Moscou Faltischek in Uniondale. Natasha A. Moskvina is an associate of the firm.

Endnotes:

1. Am. Safety Equipment Corp. v. J. P. Maguire & Co., 391 F.2d 821 (2d Cir. 1968).

2. In re Am. Express Merchants' Litig., 554 F.3d 300 (2d Cir. 2009) (stating that the issue of enforceability of a mandatory arbitration clause in a commercial contract that also contains a collective action waiver was a matter of first impression for the court) (overruled by Am. Express Co. v. Italian Colors Rest., 133 S.Ct. 2304 (2013)).

3. Am. Safety Equipment Corp., 391 F.2d at 823.

4. Id. at 826-827.

5. Stendig Int'l v. B.&B. Italia, 633 F.Supp. 27, 28 (S.D.N.Y. 1986) (arbitrability of antitrust claims); S.A. Mineracao DA Trindade-Samitri v. Utah Int'l, 576 F.Supp. 566 (S.D.N.Y. 1984) (arbitrability of RICO claims); Allegaert v. Perot, 548 F.2d 432 (2d Cir. 1977) (arbitrability of securities laws); Fox v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 453 F.Supp. 561 (S.D.N.Y. 1978) (arbitrability of antitrust claims).

6. See Sherr v. Dell, 2006 WL 2109436 (S.D.N.Y. July 27, 2006); Dumanis v. Citibank (S. Dakota), 2007 WL 3253975 (W.D.N.Y. Nov. 2, 2007).

7. In re Am. Express Merchants' Litig., 554 F.3d 300.

8. Id.

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