Abusive Litigation Under the Consumer Fraud Act??
All the proposed changes, including the cap on attorney’s fees, limiting the type of transactions on exempting business space, and overlapping regulation, are anti-consumer.
The basic concept of limiting the protections to consumers is against the very underlying nature, purpose and scope of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. According to the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance (NJLRA), they are railing about abuse of the Consumer Fraud Act and frivolous litigation.
Quite frankly, one has nothing to do with the other. There are curbs in the system already for frivolous litigation. The only thing that would happen by curbing the penalties in effect from the Consumer Fraud Act would be to encourage businesses to engage in such risky and illegal conduct, as already determined by the legislature.
Obviously, if the legislature is reducing penalties or making it easier to engage and commit consumer fraud, there is but one conclusion: new schemes, new fraud and new losses will be occasioned upon New Jersey residents. As previously stated, this “abuse” is illusory and without any basis of fact.
Quite frankly, the studies and polls taken out by the NJLRA indicate that only a small number of businesses are very concerned with being sued over the next five years. The purposes of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act are not being assisted, helped or otherwise forwarded by these anti-consumer amendments to the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.