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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Didn't Buy It? Still Have to Pay for It!

Wisniewski v. Rodale, Inc.
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit (December 13, 2007)

In a ruling that undermines consumer rights, Third Circuit Judge D. Brooks Smith, appointed by President George W. Bush, has said consumers have no right to sue if they are forced to pay for merchandise they did not order. The opinion left no recourse for petitioner David Wisniewski, who was forced to pay for unsolicited books he received in the mail. Wisniewski paid for the books after respondent Rodale, Inc., threatened to damage his credit rating if he did not pay for the books he hadn't ordered.

Judge Smith was joined in his opinion to deny Wisniewski the right to sue by Senior Judge Weis, a Nixon-appointed judge. Judge Sloviter, the only judge on the panel appointed by a Democratic President (Carter), provided in her dissent the only voice in support of consumers' rights.

Read the full case study at afj.org

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