Accepting E-Coupons or Liking General Mills May Require Arbitration, Waive Litigation

If you use a coupon from the internet, “like” a company on Facebook, enter contests, or otherwise connect with a company like General Mills, any dispute that arises may be forced into arbitration — waiving your right to bring a lawsuit in state or federal court.binding-arbitration

Per a report from the New York Times (“When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue“), General Mills has changed its Privacy Policy (here) noting that its Legal Terms now require all disputes related to the purchase or use of any General Mills product or service to be resolved through binding arbitration.”

The report points to a list of other companies (here) which have similar terms of service including banks/financial service, cable/satellite, and phone providers.

The article points to the 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision, AT&T v. Concepcion (here), as the authority which allows companies to force consumer suits into arbitration and further permits arbitration clauses to bar class certification.

 

Arbitration Mediation
Florida Courts Issue Three Arbitration-Related Opinions in November 2018

Florida cases involving disputes over the enforcement of arbitration most frequently arise out of auto sales or long term care facility contracts.  These three cases from late November 2018 fit the bill.  The topics are: waiver of the right to arbitration, parties to the agreement, and severance clauses.  Shamelessly, one …

Clauses from Contracts
Can a Florida Contract Waive Liability for Special, Indirect, Punitive, and Consequential Damages?

According to a new case from the First District, yes.  But be careful relying too heavily on this case of first impression, which may go a little too far without enough authorities. While this is a construction case, these issues apply to ALL business contracts. The case is Keystone Airpark …

Arbitration Mediation
Lessons from Google AdWords Arbitration Clause: Novation, Retroactive Application, Scope

Google’s arbitration and class action waiver provisions in their AdWords agreement provides some lessons for lawyers who draft contracts, particularly ones accepted online and updated via notice, as well as lawyers who litigate over enforcement of arbitration.  The recent case of Mark Trudeau and Troy Martial Arts, Inc. v. Google …