I thought some of you might like to see the arbitration clause General Mills has on their website. To find it, you must click on legal terms on their home page. Here are the terms:
This page contains important legal terms affecting your relationship with General Mills, including all of its affiliated companies and brands. PLEASE NOTE THAT SECTION 3 BELOW CONTAINS A BINDING ARBITRATION CLAUSE AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER. IT AFFECTS THE RIGHTS YOU HAVE IN ANY DISPUTE WITH GENERAL MILLS (INCLUDING ITS AFFILIATED COMPANIES AND BRANDS), INCLUDING DISPUTES ARISING OUT OF YOUR PURCHASE OR USE OF ANY GENERAL MILLS PRODUCT OR SERVICE FOR PERSONAL OR HOUSEHOLD USE, INCLUDING GENERAL MILLS PRODUCTS PURCHASED AT ONLINE OR PHYSICAL STORES.
General Mills’ affiliated brands and products include, but are not limited to: Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Old El Paso, Progresso, Hamburger Helper, Toaster Strudel, Gold Medal, Bisquick, Totino’s, Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Kix, Trix, Cocoa Puffs, Total, Wheaties, Fiber One, Chex, other General Mills Big G cereals, Box Tops For Education, and all other brands listed here. All of these brands and business are referred to collectively below as “General Mills.”
1. Your agreement to these legal terms
These terms are a binding legal agreement (“Agreement”) between you and General Mills. In exchange for the benefits, discounts, content, features, services, or other offerings that you receive or have access to by using our websites, joining our sites as a member, joining our online community, subscribing to our email newsletters, downloading or printing a digital coupon, entering a sweepstakes or contest, redeeming a promotional offer, or otherwise participating in any other General Mills offering, you are agreeing to these terms.
Of course, your decision to do any of these things (i.e., to use or join our site or online community, to subscribe to our emails, to download or print a digital coupon, to enter a sweepstakes or contest, to take advantage of a promotional offer, or otherwise participate in any other General Mills offering) is entirely voluntary. But if you choose to do any of these things, then you agree to be bound by this Agreement.
2. Duration of this Agreement; your right to terminate
This Agreement will remain in effect until terminated, subject to the following:
•We may also terminate or modify this Agreement at any time and for any reason; provided, however, that in the event of a modification, this Agreement (in its unmodified form) will remain in effect until you agree to the modified Agreement by continuing to participate as a user or member or any of our sites or communities, as a subscriber to any of our emails, or a participant in any sweepstakes, contest, or other General Mills offering where these modified terms are presented.
•If either you or General Mills has validly terminated this Agreement, that termination will apply only on a going forward basis: you specifically agree that any dispute between us that relates in whole or in part to any activity, occurrence, transaction, damage, loss, or event arising or occurring prior to your termination of this Agreement will continue to be governed by this Agreement.
•If you have validly terminated this Agreement, but then subsequently resume your relationship with us (for example, by subscribing again to emails or once more becoming a member of one of our sites), the then-current version of this Agreement will restart at that point.
3. Dispute resolution; binding arbitration
PLEASE READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY. IT AFFECTS RIGHTS THAT YOU MAY OTHERWISE HAVE. IT PROVIDES FOR RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES THAT YOU OR GENERAL MILLS MAY HAVE WITH EACH OTHER THROUGH INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATION INSTEAD OF THROUGH COURT TRIALS, JURY TRIALS, OR CLASS ACTIONS. ARBITRATION IS FINAL AND BINDING AND SUBJECT TO LIMITED REVIEW BY A COURT. THIS ARBITRATION CLAUSE SHALL SURVIVE TERMINATION OF THIS AGREEMENT.
This Section 3 is intended to be interpreted broadly to encompass all disputes or claims arising out of this Agreement or your purchase or use of any General Mills product or service for personal or household use. As noted above, “General Mills” includes any and all of General Mills’ affiliated companies or brands. These affiliated brands include, but are not limited to, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Old El Paso, Progresso, Hamburger Helper, Toaster Strudel Gold Medal, Bisquick, Totino’s, Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Kix, Trix, Cocoa Puffs, Total, Wheaties, Fiber One, Chex, other General Mills Big G cereals, Box Tops For Education, and all other brands listed here.
ANY DISPUTE OR CLAIM MADE BY YOU AGAINST GENERAL MILLS ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THIS AGREEMENT OR YOUR PURCHASE OR USE OF ANY GENERAL MILLS SERVICE OR PRODUCT (INCLUDING GENERAL MILLS PRODUCTS PURCHASED AT ONLINE OR PHYSICAL STORES FOR PERSONAL OR HOUSEHOLD USE) REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH DISPUTE OR CLAIM IS BASED IN CONTRACT, TORT, STATUTE, FRAUD, MISREPRESENTATION, OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY (TOGETHER, A “DISPUTE”) WILL BE RESOLVED BY INFORMAL NEGOTIATIONS OR THROUGH BINDING ARBITRATION, AS DESCRIBED BELOW.
To expedite resolution and control the cost of a Dispute, you and General Mills agree to first attempt to resolve a Dispute informally for at least thirty (30) days before initiating any arbitration. Such informal negotiations will commence upon written notice from one party to the other. You must send your notice to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in the subject line of the email “Request to Negotiate.”
If you and General Mills are unable to resolve a Dispute through informal negotiations, either you or General Mills may elect to have a Dispute resolved by binding arbitration by notifying the other party of such election. Either party also may choose to seek relief in a small claims court for a Dispute within the scope of its jurisdiction, instead of arbitration. To make this election, the small claims court action must be commenced before either party notifies the other of an election to arbitrate the Dispute, but after the conclusion of the informal negotiation period described above. If neither party has validly commenced a small claims court action for a Dispute, any election to arbitrate the Dispute by one party will immediately become final and binding on the other.
You and General Mills agree to waive the right to litigate any Dispute in court (except in small claims court in the limited circumstances described above) and before a jury and agree that this arbitration provision will be governed by the Federal Arbitration Act to the maximum extent permitted by law. You and General Mills also agree that any arbitrator that arbitrates a Dispute under this provision is without jurisdiction to conduct a class arbitration or other representative proceeding, and may not consolidate one person’s claims with another.
You and General Mills agree that all issues of enforceability of this agreement to arbitrate – including issues relating to scope, validity, and unconscionability – will be decided by the arbitrator. If for any reason this arbitration provision is deemed inapplicable or invalid, you and General Mills both waive, to the fullest extent allowed by law, the right to a jury trial and any claims relating to a Dispute to recover punitive or exemplary damages and any right to pursue any claims on a class or consolidated basis or in a representative capacity. These waivers shall also apply to any proceeding in small claims court.
The arbitration will be commenced and conducted under the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) and the AAA’s Supplementary Procedures for Consumer-Related Disputes (“AAA Consumer Procedures”), both of which are available at the AAA website www.adr.org or may be acquired by calling the AAA at 1-800-778-7879.
Any arbitration will be confidential, and neither you nor General Mills may disclose the existence, content, or results of any arbitration, except as may be required by law or for purposes of enforcement of the arbitration award. Judgment on any arbitration award may be entered in any court having proper jurisdiction.
If any portion of this arbitration provision is determined by a court or the arbitrator to be inapplicable or invalid, then the remainder shall still be given full force and effect.
Costs of arbitration
Payment of all arbitrator compensation, expenses, and administrative fees (which include filing and hearing fees) will be governed by the AAA Consumer Procedures. Under those Procedures, and except as provided below, you are not responsible for paying any arbitrator compensation or expenses, and the only administrative fee you would be responsible for is a $200 filing fee. Moreover, if the relief you seek is less than $5,000, General Mills will pay the $200 filing fee. Regardless of the amount of your claim, however, the arbitrator may re-allocate compensation, expenses, and administrative fees if he or she determines that a claim or counterclaim was filed for purposes of harassment or is patently frivolous.
In all arbitrations, each party will bear the expense of its own counsel, experts, witnesses, and preparation and presentation of evidence at the arbitration, except that General Mills will pay the costs relating to proof and witnesses produced at the direction of the arbitrator.