The Supreme Court has largely upheld this legal strategy, as companies have successfully argued that they will ensure that arbitration is appropriate for customers, including agreeing to pay multiple fees associated with the process. But the result was that very few people used the arbitration system.

In the Amazon Alexa cases, the lawyers representing the clients turned this customer-friendly feature of the arbitration system to their advantage. By filing a lawsuit, before any case could be resolved, the strategy left Amazon with a large legal bill. Amazon costs 2,900 Amazon just to hire an arbitrator and start the cost of a single claim.

“For most companies, arbitration has always been part of the effort not only to avoid class action, but also to get rid of liability,” said Travis Lankner, a lawyer for Pay Keller Lankner, who represents clients in Alexa-related lawsuits. “This is the first company to turn a tail. Others can do the same. “

Keller Lankner has used a similar approach to challenge how Durdash, a food delivery service, classifies and compensates its workers. When the pay firm filed thousands of arbitration claims on behalf of Durdash workers, the company failed to argue in court that it should not pay too many initial fees for the cases. Dordesh was slapped for trying to evade the arbitration system by a federal judge.

In Alexa-related cases, Amazon did not fight fees in court, but in May Keller told Lankner that it had waived arbitration requirements as part of its “Terms of Use.” Many Alexa arbitration lawsuits are still pending, and according to Amazon, many cases have been decided in the company’s favor.

Consumers are claiming that Amazon’s devices, including Ecozone, violate the rules in states where people must give their consent to register.

“When we looked at the issue, we were convinced that most people don’t take note of smart speakers,” said Warren Postman, Keller Lankner’s chief attorney on Alexa-related claims and other arbitration cases.