Finally, we can strike one off our list. We can remove big corporate food manufacturer General Mills from Public Citizen’s Forced Arbitration Rogues Gallery, an unofficial catalogue of some of the many corporations that use their fine-print contracts to deprive consumers of the right to sue, forcing them instead to resolve disputes in individual, secret arbitration.
Removing General Mills from the “Rogues Gallery” is the least we can do now that the cereal and snack maker has itself deleted the hideous “you can’t sue us for harm we cause” language from the legal terms of its website.
General Mills recently had added a forced arbitration clause to its “legal terms” on its website and prohibited class actions in its terms of service for the same reasons as most other corporations – to unilaterally deprive its customers from filing lawsuits against it and escape responsibility for causing injury. The reason behind General Mills’ move to reverse its ill-fated decision is awe-inspiring: it’s the people!
Lesson Number One for corporate lawyers and public relations spokespersons – American consumers would like to retain their legal rights, thank you very much.
After an article in The New York Times exposed General Mills offensive terms, the people reacted, and quickly.
@Wonkette (Apr 17): “You Can No Longer Sue General Mills Even If They Serve You A Big Bowl Of E Coli http://bit.ly/1iud62l”
Three days after The New York Times piece was published, General Mills recanted.