Earlier this year, Wells Fargo admitted it had opened thousands of accounts
without the consent of their customers and publically declared a reorganization
in an effort to earn back the public's trust. According to
the New York Times, however, the bank is now using a legal technique called arbitration to
quietly kill lawsuits that have been filed by their affected customers.
Due to this year's scandal, we now know that Wells Fargo's dubious
sales tactics have been going on for years. Under intense pressure to
meet quotas, sales representatives would open accounts in Wells Fargo
customers' names without their permission. When the practice became
a federal matter, the banks leaders appeared before Congress to admit
Longtime Wells Fargo CEO John G. Stumpf stepped down and the new CEO released
a statement saying that his "immediate and highest priority is to
restore trust in Wells Fargo." In the months that have followed,
however, customers who are seeking restitution from the bank have not
faced the same graciousness the bank exhibited to the public.
What Is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a legal process for resolving a dispute between two parties
that has become known for favoring corporate entities. There are a few
reasons why this is. First of all, arbitration is kept secret, which means
it is not a matter of public record like a civil trial. In fact, the reason
why it took so long for the Wells Fargo sales scandal to be exposed was
because it was taking affected customers to arbitration to settle their
grievances for years.
Arbitration also doesn't extensively address conflicts of interests
and often the arbitrator themselves (acting in a decision-making role)
has questionable ties to the involved businesses. The arbitration process
also prevents similar plaintiffs from consolidating their complaints against
a company as a class action. Instead, each individual claim is arbitrated
separately. This is how Wells Fargo is currently ending many of the suits
filed against them by customers affected by the sham accounts.
"It is ridiculous," Jennifer Zeleny of Utah told
the New York Times. "This is an issue of identity theft—my identity was used so
employees could meet sales goals. This is something that needs to be litigated
in a public forum."
Knowing Your Legal Options
If you have a claim against a large corporate entity, like an insurance
or healthcare provider, there is a chance that they will want to steer
your suit into arbitration to secure a swift and favorable solution. That
is why it is always advised that you have dedicated and knowledgeable
counsel by your side when seeking relief for wrongdoing against one of
Christian & Davis LLC, we're well aware of the tactics large companies use to minimize the
claims of their customers and reduce their liability. If you or a loved
one have been hurt or wronged by an insurance or healthcare provider,
we invite you to call our Greenville personal injury attorneys today.
Our team has recovered millions of dollars for our clients and is ready
to bring an incisive, proactive approach towards pursuing the compensation
Start exploring your options with us today. Use our online form to request a
free case evaluation.