Mandatory Arbitration Offers Little Relief from Bed Bugs

In July 2018, Ronald Gorny woke up in his Chicago home and noticed a few small insects scurrying on his new upholstered headboard. Gorny pulled back the sheets to find dozens more bugs, all seemingly engorged with blood, according to a class-action lawsuit his lawyers filed against Wayfair, the online housewares company that sold him the headboard. A photo he snapped shows his finger stretching the headboard’s fabric to reveal a shiny, dark creature about the size of a pencil tip and what appear to be stains on the surrounding fabric. At Wayfair’s request, a judge halted the suit in June 2019 and sent Gorny’s individual complaint to a closed-door, virtually unappealable proceeding known as arbitration.

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