Please read this Arbitration Agreement carefully. It is part of your contract with us and affects your rights. It contains procedures for MANDATORY BINDING ARBITRATION AND A CLASS ACTION WAIVER.
12.1 APPLICABILITY OF ARBITRATION AGREEMENT. All claims and disputes (excluding claims for injunctive or other equitable relief as set forth below) in connection with the Terms or the use of any product or service provided by us that cannot be resolved informally or in small claims court shall be resolved by binding arbitration on an individual basis under the terms of this Arbitration Agreement. Unless otherwise agreed to, all arbitration proceedings shall be held in English. This Arbitration Agreement applies to you and us, and to any subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, employees, predecessors in interest, successors, and assigns, as well as all authorized or unauthorized users or beneficiaries of services or goods provided under the Terms.
12.2 NOTICE REQUIREMENT AND INFORMAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION. Before either party may seek arbitration, the party must first send to the other party a written Notice of Dispute (“Notice”) describing the nature and basis of the claim or dispute, and the requested relief. A Notice to us should be sent to: Amplifon Hearing Health Care, Corp., Attn: Legal Department, 150 S. 5th St., Suite 2300, Minneapolis, MN 55402. After the Notice is received, you and we may attempt to resolve the claim or dispute informally. If you and we do not resolve the claim or dispute within thirty (30) days after the Notice is received, either party may begin an arbitration proceeding. The amount of any settlement offer made by any party may not be disclosed to the arbitrator until after the arbitrator has determined the amount of the award, if any, to which either party is entitled.
12.3 ARBITRATION RULES. Arbitration shall be initiated through the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), which is an established alternative dispute resolution provider (“ADR Provider”) that offers arbitration as set forth in this Section. If AAA is not available to arbitrate, the parties shall agree to select an alternative ADR Provider. The rules of the ADR Provider shall govern all aspects of the arbitration, including but not limited to the method of initiating and/or demanding arbitration, except to the extent such rules are in conflict with the Terms. The AAA Consumer Arbitration Rules (“Arbitration Rules”) governing the arbitration are available online at www.adr.org or by calling the AAA at 1-800-778-7879. The arbitration shall be conducted by a single, neutral arbitrator. Any claims or disputes where the total amount of the award sought is less than Ten Thousand U.S. Dollars (US $10,000.00) may be resolved through binding non-appearance-based arbitration, at the option of the party seeking relief. For claims or disputes where the total amount of the award sought is Ten Thousand U.S. Dollars (US $10,000.00) or more, the right to a hearing will be determined by the Arbitration Rules. Any hearing will be held in a location within 100 miles of your residence, unless you reside outside of the United States, and unless the parties agree otherwise. If you reside outside of the United States, the arbitrator shall give the parties reasonable notice of the date, time and place of any oral hearings. Any judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court of competent jurisdiction. If the arbitrator grants you an award that is greater than the last settlement offer that we made to you prior to the initiation of arbitration, we will pay you the greater of the award or Two Thousand Five Hundred U.S. Dollars (US $2,500.00). Each party shall bear its own costs (including attorney’s fees) and disbursements arising out of the arbitration and shall pay an equal share of the fees and costs of the ADR Provider.
12.4 ADDITIONAL RULES FOR NON-APPEARANCE BASED ARBITRATION. If non-appearance based arbitration is elected, the arbitration shall be conducted by telephone, online and/or based solely on written submissions; the specific manner shall be chosen by the party initiating the arbitration. The arbitration shall not involve any personal appearance by the parties or witnesses unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
12.5 TIME LIMITS. If you or we pursue arbitration, the arbitration action must be initiated and/or demanded within the statute of limitations (i.e., the legal deadline for filing a claim) and within any deadline imposed under the AAA Rules for the pertinent claim.
12.6 AUTHORITY OF ARBITRATOR. If arbitration is initiated, the arbitrator will decide the rights and liabilities, if any, of you and us, and the dispute will not be consolidated with any other matters or joined with any other cases or parties. The arbitrator shall have the authority to grant motions dispositive of all or part of any claim. The arbitrator shall have the authority to award monetary damages, and to grant any non-monetary remedy or relief available to an individual under applicable law, the AAA Rules, and the Terms. The arbitrator shall issue a written award and statement of decision describing the essential findings and conclusions on which the award is based, including the calculation of any damages awarded. The arbitrator has the same authority to award relief on an individual basis that a judge in a court of law would have. The award of the arbitrator is final and binding upon you and us.
12.7 WAIVER OF JURY TRIAL. THE PARTIES HEREBY WAIVE THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL AND STATUTORY RIGHTS TO GO TO COURT AND HAVE A TRIAL IN FRONT OF A JUDGE OR A JURY, INSTEAD ELECTING THAT ALL CLAIMS AND DISPUTES SHALL BE RESOLVED BY ARBITRATION UNDER THIS ARBITRATION AGREEMENT. ARBITRATION PROCEDURES ARE TYPICALLY MORE LIMITED, MORE EFFICIENT AND LESS COSTLY THAN RULES APPLICABLE IN A COURT AND ARE SUBJECT TO VERY LIMITED REVIEW BY A COURT. IN THE EVENT ANY LITIGATION SHOULD ARISE BETWEEN YOU AND US IN ANY STATE OR FEDERAL COURT IN A SUIT TO VACATE OR ENFORCE AN ARBITRATION AWARD OR OTHERWISE, YOU AND WE WAIVE ALL RIGHTS TO A JURY TRIAL, INSTEAD ELECTING THAT THE DISPUTE BE RESOLVED BY A JUDGE, AND AGREE THAT SUCH LITIGATION SHALL BE BROUGHT ONLY IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA OR, IF FEDERAL JURISDICTION IS NOT AVAILABLE, IN THE HENNEPIN COUNTY DISTRICT COURT IN MINNESOTA. YOU HEREBY SUBMIT TO THE PERSONAL JURISDICTION AND VENUE OF SUCH COURTS AND WAIVE ANY OBJECTION ON THE GROUNDS OF VENUE, FORUM NON-CONVENIENS OR ANY SIMILAR GROUNDS WITH RESPECT THERETO.
12.8 WAIVER OF CLASS OR CONSOLIDATED ACTIONS. ALL CLAIMS AND DISPUTES WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THIS ARBITRATION AGREEMENT MUST BE ARBITRATED OR LITIGATED ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS AND NOT ON A CLASS BASIS, AND CLAIMS OF MORE THAN ONE CUSTOMER OR USER CANNOT BE ARBITRATED OR LITIGATED JOINTLY OR CONSOLIDATED WITH THOSE OF ANY OTHER CUSTOMER OR USER.
12.9 CONFIDENTIALITY. All aspects of the arbitration proceeding, including but not limited to the award of the arbitrator and compliance therewith, shall be strictly confidential. The parties agree to maintain confidentiality unless otherwise required by law. This Section 12.9 shall not prevent a party from submitting to a court of law any information necessary to enforce this Arbitration Agreement, to enforce an arbitration award, or to seek injunctive or equitable relief.
12.10 SEVERABILITY. If any part or parts of this Arbitration Agreement are found under the law to be invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, then such specific part or parts shall be of no force and effect and shall be severed and the remainder of the Arbitration Agreement shall continue in full force and effect.
12.11 RIGHT TO WAIVE. Any or all of the rights and limitations set forth in this Arbitration Agreement may be waived by the party against whom the claim is asserted. Such waiver shall not waive or affect any other portion of this Arbitration Agreement.
12.12 SURVIVAL OF ARBITRATION AGREEMENT. This Arbitration Agreement will survive the termination of your relationship with us.
12.13 SMALL CLAIMS COURT. Notwithstanding the foregoing, either you or we may bring an individual action in small claims court.
12.14 EMERGENCY EQUITABLE RELIEF. Notwithstanding the foregoing, either party may seek emergency equitable relief before a state or federal court in order to maintain the status quo pending arbitration. A request for interim measures shall not be deemed a waiver of any other rights or obligations under this Arbitration Agreement.
12.15 CLAIMS NOT SUBJECT TO ARBITRATION. Notwithstanding the foregoing, claims of defamation, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and infringement or misappropriation of the other party’s patent, copyright, trademark or trade secrets shall not be subject to this Arbitration Agreement.
12.16 COURTS. In any circumstances where the foregoing Arbitration Agreement permits the parties to litigate in court, the parties hereby agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of Hennepin County District Court in Minnesota or the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, for such purpose.