Weinberg v. Sprint Corp., 173 N.J. 233 (2002)
In the case of Weinberg v. Sprint, 173 N.J. 233 (2002), the New Jersey Supreme Court ultimately held that in order to maintain a cause of action for consumer fraud, an aggrieved consumer, acting as an attorney general, must have sustained an ascertainable loss. This decision came in the context of a class action where the plaintiff was requesting declaratory relief as an alternative to requesting money damages and monetary relief. The plaintiff took the position that if the defendant violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the plaintiff acting as private attorney generally could maintain a cause of action to assure that this conduct would stop, and there was declaratory or injunctive relief. The New Jersey Supreme Court unfortunately disagreed with the plaintiff’s position and relied upon the statutory reading of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, specifically requiring a plaintiff to have a legitimate ascertainable loss to pursue a claim under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
It is important to note that the Supreme Court implicitly, if not directly, stated that injunctive and declaratory relief is available under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act for those showing an ascertainable loss.