The scope of this Note focuses on whether the courts have adequately corrected the substantive failures of mandatory arbitration agreements when they permit consumers to prove prohibitive costs. Part II of this Note explores the origin and history behind the adoption of the FAA and the legislative desire to place parties of equal bargaining power in a position to arbitrate. Part III examines the acceptance of this defense in other jurisdictions. Part IV considers the Mendez case and analyzes Washington's newly adopted approach to invalidate mandatory arbitration clauses in consumer contracts. Part V illustrates the appropriateness of this defense and addresses the benefits and burdens of applying it in the consumer context. Part VI concludes the Note, identifying the unjustified presumptions that undercut the value of arbitration as an alternative forum to resolve disputes in the consumer context and evaluating the cost prohibitive defense as an adequate response.
Merryn B. DeBenedetti, Show Me the Money?: Washington Adopts the Cost Prohibitive Defense to Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Contracts, 27 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 899 (2004).