You're Apparently Not Allowed to Sue General Mills
Company updates its privacy policy
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Apr 17, 2014 11:36 AM CDT
Updated Apr 20, 2014 10:57 AM CDT
This June 16, 2011 file photo shows boxes of Cheerios in a store in Akron, NY.   (AP Photo/David Duprey, File)

(Newser) – If you've "liked" a company on Facebook, downloaded its coupons, or really in any way interacted with it online, you might have inadvertently given up your right to sue it. The New York Times spotted new language in the privacy policy on General Mills' website indicating that customers who did any of those things were agreeing to settle any disputes they might have with the company via arbitration. When the Times asked about it, the company doubled down, adding new text suggesting that anyone who so much as purchased Cheerios was agreeing to the same thing. (A new gray bar atop the site reads in part, "Please note we also have new Legal Terms which require all disputes related to the purchase or use of any General Mills product or service to be resolved through binding arbitration.")

The Supreme Court opened the door for this maneuver when it ruled, in 2011's AT&T v. Concepcion, that companies could forbid class-action lawsuits in the contracts their customers sign, and many companies are moving to take advantage. "Although this is the first case I’ve seen of a food company moving in this direction, others will follow—why wouldn’t you?" said a rep from a trial lawyers trade group. "It's essentially trying to protect the company from all accountability." General Mills defends the practice as simply an "efficient way to resolve disputes." Geek-O-System has a detailed breakdown of the policy language.

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Showing 3 of 97 comments
Lou Bernardo
Apr 20, 2014 8:53 PM CDT
It should be a crime for the price these cereal companies are charging for a few ounces of their cereal packed in a great big box that's mostly air.
2cent
Apr 20, 2014 8:49 PM CDT
Won't be 'like'n General Shills any time soon. Don't buy their crap for one month (i don't anyway), and they'll fold like the ultra-liberal chistlers that they are. GM is BM.
pearlybay
Apr 20, 2014 6:19 PM CDT
This is the band wagon of all corporate scams in the future. They are all getting into it and whatever loser Republican run SCOTUS allowed it, should be flogged. I now see companies that have this scheme in place and they deliberately do wrongful things, knowing that the average Joe has no way of getting justice. This extends the corporate bounds into wrong practices, knowing the penalties are rather painless. This is hogwash and just another erosion of America.