We reported last November that Carvana’s effort to compel thousands of consumers to forced arbitration rather than face a jury of Pennsylvania citizens about its unfair and deceptive sales practices was denied by the trial court. Since then, Carvana appealed that ruling against it to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Basically, Carvana does not wish to have its practices scrutinized by a jury of citizens and instead wishes only to have a private arbitrator pre-selected by it to review its pattern and practice of selling vehicles it does not have proper title and registration. Under the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, “the right of trial by jury shall be preserved and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.” Yet, Carvana wants to avoid a public court proceeding protected by the Seventh Amendment and force consumers to private arbitration by avoiding basic contract laws that apply to any other person.
Last year the Supreme Court rejected arguments like that advanced by Carvana in our case seeking a special rule just for it, and said the general federal law favoring arbitration “does not authorize federal courts to invent special, arbitration-preferring procedural rules.” Morgan v. Sundance, Inc., 142 S. Ct. 1708, 1713-1714 (2022).
Right now, we are just waiting for the Third Circuit to decide the appeal. The briefs are available here: