When the COVID-19 pandemic first shut everything down, consumers who purchased tickets for sporting events, concerts and trips, or had annual gym memberships, immediately filed class actions over unpaid refunds.

Nearly a year later, judges overwhelmingly have sent the cases to arbitration, according to a review of decisions in federal cases, including those against Major League Baseball, Ticketmaster and LA Fitness. Arbitration motions are pending in several other lawsuits by companies such as StubHub and Airbnb, citing the Federal Arbitration Act.

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