Earlier this month, in Elsie Metcalfe v. Grieco Hyundai, LLC, the Rhode Island Federal District Court invalidated a class action waiver in an agreement without an arbitration clause that was therefore not subject to the Federal Arbitration Act.
In Metcalfe, Plaintiff Elsie Metcalfe leased a car from Defendant Grieco Hyundai, LLC, in May 2019. The lease agreement included an option to purchase the vehicle at a specific price at the end of the lease. When the Defendant raised the price, Ms. Metcalfe brought a class action for breach of contract and violation of the Rhode Island Deceptive Trade Practices Act, among other claims. The Defendant moved to dismiss based on a provision in the lease agreement that waived the lessor’s right to bring or join a class action related to the lease.
Class Action Waivers Held to Violate Rhode Island and Massachusetts Public Policy
The District Court held the waiver