Does a business such as a law firm, gas station, boutique or other ongoing business entity have the right to sue under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud (CFA) (UDAP) Act when they have been a victim of consumer fraud? YES
The answer is yes under most circumstances. The courts have interpreted the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act to apply to businesses (as a plaintiff) as they acting a a regular consumer. If a business is like in consumer and consuming a good then they are able to pursue a claim under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. This business would have the same rights as any other person which would be triple damages, attorney’s fees and costs. This would be assuming that the business demonstrate an ascertainable loss related to the fraudulent conduct. Just because plaintiff is a business does not rule them out from being a plaintiff in a case.
The sole issue is whether or not the business is acting as a consumer or business. As an example, there was a case which was decided in the New Jersey courts that held as a re seller of ink cartridges there were no claims under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. In that transaction the court held that business which had filed suit under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act was acting as a business and reselling the ink cartridges rather than consuming them.
If this business, hypothetically, when using the ink cartridges and consuming and having their employees use them they would have the same rights as any consumer. However, since they are using the goods to resell them for a profit motive and part of their business would be reselling these cartridges it would not have a claim since they are not as consumer and consuming the goods.
The very purpose of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is to liberally construe it effectuate its remedial purpose of eradicating all types of fraud and consumer fraud and deceptive activity.
In many states the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is referred to as the unfair deceptive acts or UDAP.
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is supposed to, and does, provide extraordinarily powerful remedies to those individuals and entities that have been subject to deceptive practices whether it be advertising or otherwise.
Since the very purpose of the act is to out deceptive and fraudulent conduct should not matter in most circumstances how one characterizes the purchaser and or the attempted purchaser of the goods. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act to require a completed transaction. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act defines the transaction as an attempt the transaction to purchase goods or services. Again, all of these standards and rules apply to individual entities as well as corporate entities