Damages in a lawsuit
Obviously, the dealers are claiming they are damaged in lost sales, profits and opportunities to make money. I have been a lawyer a long time and this seems really hard to prove BUT it must be proved and it is the plaintiff’s burden to put forth such proof. How exactly are they going to do this and link it in some way to True Car? Seems like a Herculean undertaking. I have no idea, at this point how they intend to establish this but when I hear something I will update my status report and make an announcement at the meetings.
I presume expert will be needed that will address the impact of the advertisements on both TrueCar and also the non-participating dealers. I would think that it would be indispensable to interview customers who actually used TrueCar and see what their impression were and what their experience was in the process. After all the plaintiffs are alleging that the customers were misled by TrueCar advertising.
As these plaintiffs – dealers - are asserting that True Car has been a making false advertisement and has violated consumer laws, powerful forces are working on changing the consumer laws in New Jersey to make it harder for consumers to sue.
The Civil Justice Institute is lobbying to reform the Consumer Fraud Act to make it harder to sue, much harder.
According to the public information available the defendant – TRUECAR – has filed a motion to dismiss that was granted in part and denied in part.
The court held that some claims are dismissed and some are not but the short story here is that the dealer – plaintiffs for now can continue to litigate and they will and the stakes are big for both True Car and the auto dealers.
Damages In any civil lawsuit are calculated the same way. One must demonstrate that there was actual damage then one must demonstrate that the damages are tied to the conduct which the plaintiff is asserting is illegal or breached a specific duty. In some instances this is difficult to prove in some instances it's not difficult to prove. In a case like this I would have some issues seeing how the dealership's who claim they are victims are demonstrating damages. While this is possible I find it difficult to demonstrate. However, we must see with the theory is with regard to developing these damages and exactly the cost for the damages. This cannot be easily viewed at the beginning of a lawsuit but must be developed based on the applicable and marshaled evidence. Each and every civil lawsuit is the same. You must prove wrong then you must prove damage. It is no different even in the very complex cases.
Damages MUST be proved to a reasonable degree of certainty not assumed. They must be measured in some way to be ascertainable.
One cannot guess at damages but must have some certainty to measure them.