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Consumer Fraud Act
New Jersey has one of the strongest consumer protection laws in the nation. Under the Consumer Fraud Act (CFA), a plaintiff or consumer who proves both an unlawful practice and an ascertainable loss is entitled to an award of treble (triple) damages plus attorneys fees.

This is a specialized area of the law which requires experienced and knowledgeable attorneys to help you successfully litigate or defend these claims. Our firm has successfully represented both businesses and individuals in this area. Contact us to discuss how we can help you prosecute or defend your CFA claim.
Claims under the Consumer Fraud Act
A private claimant or consumer may maintain a claim against merchants under the Consumer Fraud Act. The term "consumer" is defined broadly to include both individuals and businesses. The Act is aimed at regulating the behavior of professional sellers of goods and services, whether a multibillion dollar corporation or a small business. Casual sellers are not subject to the Act. A successful claimant must prove an unlawful act, an ascertainable loss and a causal connection between the unlawful act and the ascertainable loss in order to recover under the Act. This limiting requirement allows a private cause of action for only those who can demonstrate a loss attributable to conduct made unlawful under the CFA. Theidman v. Mercedes Benz USA, LLC, 183 N.J. 234, 247(2005).

Unlawful acts fall into three categories:
  1. Affirmative Acts include unconscionable business practices, fraud, deception, false promise, false pretense and misrepresentation. Proof of intent is not required. Instead, the claimant must show that a merchant's actions constituted one of the prohibited acts.
  2. Acts of Omission or failure to disclose can take the form of a concealment, suppression or omission. In this instance, proof of intent is a prerequisite to recovery. This requirement is an important safeguard against imposing liability on merchants for their innocent failure. Chappin v Cape May Greene, Inc. 243 NJ Super 590, 603 (App. Div. 1990)
  3. Regulatory violations.
Ascertainable loss is something which is quantifiable or otherwise measurable. The loss cannot be hypothetical or illusory. It must be capable of calculation. An ascertainable loss is limited to economic loss. Recovery for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium and emotional distress are precluded under the CFA. Gennari v Weichert Co. Realtors, 148 N.J. 582, 612-613 ( 1997).

To speak with one of our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys regarding a CFA claim, contact Lenahan & Rockwell today.
     With Offices in Bridgewater and Freehold, New Jersey, the trial lawyers at Lenahan & Rockwell represent clients throughout New Jersey, including the cities of Bridgewater, Freehold, Morristown, New Brunswick, Somerville, Edison, Toms River and Elizabeth. Our litigation attorneys also represent clients throughout the communities in and around Monmouth, Essex, Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon, Morris, Union, Mercer, Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Gloucester, and Ocean counties.
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