As if Fallout 76's rocky start hasn't been enough for Bethesda, law firm Migliaccio & Rathod LLP yesterday stated that they're pressing on with legal action against the company, in spite of the arbitration agreement in F76's multiplayer.
Migliaccio & Rathod explained that "a slim majority of the United States Supreme Court has permitted corporations to deprive consumers of their day in court, especially with respect to class action claims", by inserting dubious arbitration clauses that users agree to by clicking through until they can get to playing.
"By preventing class actions, corporations can make it economically impossible for individuals to vindicate their rights for claims that concern only a relatively small amount of money", the firm stated.
Now Bethesda are hardly the only culprit, as such cases threaten to become wider practices in some other industries. In fact, much of Migliaccio & Rathod's renewed vigour has to do with the case of Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis.
The aforementioned case, which by the way isn't about Epic Games but a healthcare software company, ultimately failed, after which judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated, "The court today holds enforceable this arm-twisted, take-it-or-leave-it contracts - including the provisions requiring employees to litigate wage and hours claims only one-by-one....Federal labor law does not countenance such isolation of employees."
Migliaccio & Rathod wrote, "Bethesda probably thought it could refuse to refund its customers because use of the multiplayer game requires players to click through an arbitration agreement. (So most players – except for potentially those in California - cannot take the company to court in a class action)."
Unfortunately for Bethesda, Migliaccio & Rathod aren't quitting and have announced Arbageddon, as they'll pursue individual arbitrations. They have sent Bethesda countless letters and, according to the company's own arbitration deal, they have 26 days to respond.
If they fail to do so, "the full weight of Arbageddon will be upon them", the firm warned, as it plans to proceed with hundreds of arbitrations, and potentially file class action lawsuits in California.