Penilla v. Westmont Corp.

Plaintiffs, primarily low-income mobile home owners who rent the land owned by Westmont, filed suit against Westmont and others (collectively, appellants) alleging contract, tort and statutory causes of action. Appellants filed a motion to compel plaintiffs to arbitrate the claims but the trial court denied the motion to compel. The court concluded that the arbitration provision contained in the rental agreements was procedurally unconscionable because it failed to disclose prohibitively expensive arbitration fees and was neither provided in a Spanish-language copy nor explained to respondents who did not understand written English; the arbitration provision was substantively unconscionable as it imposed arbitral fees that were unaffordable or would have substantially deterred plaintiffs from asserting their claims; and the provision’s unreasonably shortened limitations periods for many of the asserted causes of action and its limitation on the remedies available in arbitration for statutory claims further support a finding of substantive unconscionability. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Penilla v. Westmont Corp." on Justia Law