In 2015, Vicki Forby filed a lawsuit under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act against One Technologies, a company that purported to offer consumers access to “free” credit scores. Unbeknownst to Ms. Forby and other consumers, they were actually signing up for an expensive, recurring monthly subscription “credit monitoring” service. For two years, Ms. Forby litigated the case against One Technologies in three different courts. After One Technologies was unsuccessful in getting the case dismissed, it invoked an arbitration clause and filed a motion to force the case into arbitration. The district court granted that motion, finding that One Technologies had not waived the right to compel arbitration because Ms. Forby had not suffered sufficient prejudice as a result of One Technologies’ delay. Public Citizen represented Ms. Forby on appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
In November 2018, the Fifth Circuit found in Ms. Forby’s favor and reversed the decision of the district court, finding that by litigating prior to seek arbitration, One Technologies had both substantially invoked the judicial process and prejudiced Ms. Forby. The case was remanded to the district court to proceed on the merits.