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Keena v. Groupon

United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
192 F. Supp. 3d 630 (2016)


Facts

Keena (plaintiff) bought a voucher for discounted massage services on Groupon’s (defendant) website. Keena was ultimately unable to schedule a massage with the vendor. Rather than refunding Keena cash, Groupon refunded her in Groupon Bucks, which could be used only on Groupon’s website. Keena brought suit on several grounds. Groupon filed a motion to compel arbitration based on its terms of use, which Keena had agreed to when she created her Groupon account and purchased the voucher. The terms of use provided that any disputes arising from the use of the website would be resolved through arbitration. The terms of use permitted parties to file suit in court only for intellectual property or consumer conduct violations. The terms of use also stated that the parties agreed that any dispute would be resolved on an individual basis. Keena claimed that the arbitration clause was unenforceable, because Groupon did not provide consideration for that provision. Specifically, Keena argued that the intellectual-property and individual-claims provisions were illusory because Groupon would never have occasion to bring a class action suit against Keena, and Keena would never have occasion to bring an intellectual property or consumer conduct suit against Groupon.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mullen, J.)

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