By Oren Giskan, Esq.
The people have spoken and while they like Cheerios, they do not like mandatory arbitration. General Mills tried to impose mandatory arbitration on anyone who “liked” it on social media or downloaded a coupon for one of its products. Because General Mills had no direct dealings (or a contract) with consumers, it had to come up with a novel way to obtain consumers’ “consent” to arbitration.
It turns out consumers do not like mandatory arbitration and they protested. So General Mills did the right thing and abandoned its efforts to prohibit consumers from suing in court (and suing as a class). General Mills undoubtedly recognized that if consumers are given a choice, they will take their business elsewhere.
Both the consumers and General Mills should be applauded.
Too many courts have upheld the fiction that consumers agree to these clauses. The reality is they have no choice as nearly every corporation, bank etc has an arbitration clause.
Congress, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Supreme Court should take notice and get rid of these clauses that insulate corporations from wrongdoing.