Are You Being Tricked into Agreeing to Arbitrate?

Sometimes as a consumer, we experience problems with a product that lead us to sue the manufacturer for providing a recalled or defective product. But are we being tricked into settling without even knowing we are doing just that?
The New York Times recently reported that General Mills had quietly updated their privacy policy on their website alerting consumers that they automatically relinquish the right to sue the company if they download coupons, joined online communities like Facebook or Twitter, entered company-sponsored sweepstakes or interacted with the company in similar ways. If you happen to fall ill after consuming a recalled or contaminated product produced by General Mills, you are automatically required to arbitrate your claim because you “liked” them on Facebook or followed them on Twitter!
Unfortunately, this policy change is a fast growing trend. As reported by the New York Times, the number of companies that have implemented these type of policies have dramatically increased since the 2011 United States Supreme Court decision, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, that allowed business to prevented consumers claiming fraud from joining together in a single arbitration.
Following a social media outrage, General Mills “had announced a stunning about-face that it was withdrawing its controversial plans to make consumers give up their right to sue it.”
Always read the fine print and never sign a document without reading through it so you know if you are giving up your right to sue in court and agree to arbitrate!
Call us today for a free legal consultation.
Arbitration: The process by which the parties to a dispute submit their differences to the judgment of an impartial person or group appointed by mutual consent or statutory provision.

Dear friends and clients,

In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP