Hamlin v. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-212-17, 6 pp.) (Patrick Michael Duffy, J.) 2:17-cv-02648; D.S.C.
Holding: Although defendant drafted the employment agreement and plaintiff had no meaningful bargaining power, since both parties will have input into the selection of the arbitrator and are subject to the same discovery rules, and since plaintiff has not made any showing of how the list of available arbitrators or the JAMS discovery rules are one-sided, the arbitration agreement is not unconscionable.
The court grants defendant’s motion to compel arbitration. This action is stayed.
Plaintiff’s unsworn statement that she does not recall signing the arbitration agreement is insufficient to create an issue of fact as to the validity of the agreement. Moreover, defendant has presented evidence that plaintiff digitally signed the arbitration agreement using a digital signature that only she was capable of entering. In any event, in several places in her brief, plaintiff admits that she signed the agreement.
Contrary to plaintiff’s argument, her employment by defendant was adequate consideration to support the arbitration agreement under South Carolina law. The mutual obligation to arbitrate is also itself adequate consideration.
Plaintiff argues that the arbitration agreement is procedurally unconscionable. She admits that she signed the arbitration agreement but states that it was buried among other work training documents. Additionally, she states that no one explained the agreement to her and that the agreement was mandatory.
Such circumstances do not make a contract unconscionable. South Carolina law does not impose a duty to explain a document’s contents to an individual when the individual can learn the contents from simply reading the document.