New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act
Many commentators feel that New Jersey has one of the best if not the best consumer fraud laws in the entire nation. There are many reasons why the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is so strong and better than many of the other Consumer Fraud Act in many of the other states. There are many technical and proof based reasons. What this means is that for lawyers it is an easy tool to use to remedy consumers who have been aggrieved. However, from a very simple standpoint the reasons are relatively straightforward as well. As an example the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act provides the following to consumers that have been aggrieved.
- Triple Damages
- Attorney Fees
- Injunctive relief
When you are litigating the case and you represent a consumer who has been aggrieved or who has sustained it measurable or ascertainable loss these items numbering 1 through 4 are extremely powerful. For a second let us forget about the significant advantages you have with regard to presenting the case.
The detriment to engaging in consumer fraud or a deceptive practice is significant. Consumers have a very strong and significant tools to punish businesses that of subject them to an improper or illegal act or which the consumer has sustained a measurable loss. Some commentators and the law specifically says ascertainable loss however it really is a measurable loss that is recovered.
So when and if litigation starts against a particular entity such as a car dealership from the very beginning there is the threat of triple damages Atty.’s fees costs and injunctive relief.
There is a very specific detriment to pursuing one of these cases and losing. Many times the attorneys fees and pursuing a claim under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act can dwarf the amount recoverable by the aggrieved consumer.
I would say that on a case that is tried my attorney’s fees always exceed the amount of money that is received by my client or the consumer. This is a byproduct of years of litigation and the defendant fails to undergo any realistic settlement discussions. This is not uncommon result. As you can see there is a significant detriment to a business engaging in this type of conduct.
In addition the very purpose of the act is to attract competent counsel and those willing to take these cases on the concept that they will get their attorney’s fees paid at the end of the litigation. This is really important since any consumer that has been aggrieved for any amount could arguably retain an attorney who could get his attorney’s fees paid for by the business.
This provides access to the court system for those consumers who have been aggrieved. I cannot explain how important how or how significant this is to the underlying role of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act in both litigating and shaping defendant’s conduct.
If attorney’s fees were not available most consumer fraud would go on remedied since you would never be able to obtain an attorney or hire an attorney to litigate a claim. The concept of attorney’s fees is central to eradicating bad conduct.
If you think you have a claims please contact Jonathan Rudnick Esq. for any questions or concerns. He has years of experience in this filed.