Thursday, April 17, 2014

General Mills Takes Away Your Day In Court

Reading an article by Stephaine Strom reporting at the New York Times, that just by downloading a coupon for Cheerios, you may loose some of your constitutional rights. Yep, today consumers are subject to 'forced arbitration' and because of AT&T Mobility v. Conception you don't even have the right to a class action forced arbitration. If you and others have been wronged in some way by a business, each wronged individual must pay for his/her own defense. However, even a binding arbitration decision can be appealed. So there's that. But, it is still more expense for the plaintiff.

I have never read a privacy statement, but apparently by agreeing to joining a book club, Facebook, etc., there is also a good chance you are 'voluntarily' giving up your 'day in court', should you be harmed in some way. Just by going into a store you may lose your right to sue if you are injured.   (There is a Whataburger franchise owner who has a sign on the restaurant entrance, "that by simply entering the premises, they [customers] agreed to settle disputes through arbitration)'. Most credit card and mobile phone companies take away your 'day in court'.

Julia Duncan, at the American Association for Justice says; "It's [General Mills] essentially trying to protect the company from all accountability, even when it lies, or say, an employee deliberately adds broken glass to a product."

Some of you might be inclined to say that frivolous law suits, greedy trial lawyers, and outlandish jury awards have caused this to happen. I say frivolous law suits, greedy trial lawyers and outlandish jury awards pale against losing constitutional rights. Furthermore these abuses having absolutely nothing to do with the plaintiff(s). Finally, let me emphasize that trial lawyers will still make money from force arbitration, companies will save money, and settlements will shrink as will your constitutional rights.
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