Articles Posted in Consumer Lawyer

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.

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Does New Jersey have a Lemon Law? Yes there is a new and used car lemon law that can be filed in Superior Court or in Administrative Court … – The Law Office of Jonathan Rudnick LLC – Google+

Source: Does New Jersey have a Lemon Law? Yes there is a new and used car lemon law …

Bergen County Verdict in a car sales case

$174,000 verdict for purchaser who did not get the title



11-4-9287 Mehrnia v. Emporio Motor Group LLC, Chanc. Div.-Bergen Cnty. (Toskos, J.S.C.) (24 pp.) This case evolved from a dispute between several parties over their rights to the ownership of a used 2010 Ferrari. The car was sold several times. Plaintiff Mehrdad Mehrnia claimed that he purchased the vehicle for a price of $201,000. Defendant Hitfigure LLC claimed ownership of the 2010 Ferrari through a subsequent purchase for a price of $155,000. The dispute arose from the relationship between defendants Dream Cars National LLC and Gotham Dream Cars LLC and defendant Manhattan Leasing Enterprises Ltd. Gotham and Manhattan also claimed an ownership interest in the vehicle. At a time when Gotham was experiencing financial difficulties, Manhattan restructured their leasing arrangement, which led to Manhattan obtaining possession of the title to the 2010 Ferrari. Mehrnia purchased the car from Emporio Motor Group LLC, which had obtained the Ferrari from Manhattan. The Ferrari was later sold to Hitfigure. Mehrnia filed this litigation seeking a declaratory judgment that he was the owner of the Ferrari. He also asserted a consumer fraud and conversion claim against Gotham and Manhattan. Finally, Mehrnia included a civil conspiracy claim as to Emporio, Gotham and Manhattan, alleging that they conspired to deprive Mehrnia of his property.

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crashed car


The plaintiff has proved that the defendant has committed fraud/consumer fraud. The dealer advised the plaintiff that the car was without accident both verbally and in writing. The plaintiff proved (CARFAX) and it was admitted (Defense expert testimony) that the car was in a previous accident. Defense only disputed severity of the accident. Defense expert and the General Manager admitted that the dealer probably knew of the prior damage. He actually testified that the dealer did know that the car was in an accident. The car was inspected by used car manager, technicians, certification process (Lexus trained techs looking for accident damage) and elcometer use on car acquisitions. (THE USED CAR MANAGER NEVER TURNED UP TO TESTIFY) Even more significant is that this was a dealer not a Chevy dealer!! Who would be in a better position to know that the car was not in MFGR-HIGHLINE- FRONT LINE CONDITION? Nobody. The dealer’s claim or assertion of ignorance as to any prior damage is both insulting and incredulous. The Manufacturer representative testified that bondo should not be used on certified cars (not Lexus quality repair) and any through panel penetration would render a car non-certifiable. (This was his initial testimony and then there was a break and Ms. Lawyer asked him the same question and his answer mysteriously changed)

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The lack of a contractual relationship or privity does not automatically defeat a the plaintiff’s claim. The determination of whether a duty exists is generally considered a matter of law to be decided by the court. Carvalho v. Toll Bros. and Developers, supra, 143 N.J. at 572; S.P. v. Collier High School, 319 N.J.Super. 452, 467,(App.Div.1999). The assessment of fairness and policy “involves identifying, weighing, and balancing several factors-the relationship of the parties, the nature of the attendant risk, the opportunity and ability to exercise care, and the public interest in the proposed solution” Zielinsky v. Professional Appraisals 326 N.J.Super 219 (App.Div 1999).
There is no privity requirement to maintain a cause of action under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. In Alloway v. General Marine Ind., 149 N.J. 620 (1997), the Supreme Court held that the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act does not require privity to maintain a cause of action. In Alloway, the plaintiff purchased a defective boat, which was built by the (manufacturer) defendant. The plaintiff instituted suit against the manufacturer and other defendants for tort (negligence) and warranty claims. The Court dismissed the tort claims and permitted the plaintiff to proceed on the warranty claims, holding that privity was required for tort claims, but not for warranty type claims. The underpinnings of the decision were that the plaintiff had statutory avenues of remedy including, but not limited to, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act to address economic injuries to property. Id. at 639 – 640. The Court specifically left unanswered whether or not tort or contract law applies to a product that poses a risk of causing personal injuries or property damage, but has caused only economic loss to the product itself.
The trend in the application of the Consumer Fraud Act has been to expand liability to those “upstream, in the chain of commerce,” including but not limited to remote suppliers of component parts whose products are passed on to a buyer and its representations are made to, or intended to be conveyed to the ultimate purchaser. Perth Amboy Iron Works v. Amhouse, 226 N.J. Super 200, 211 (App. Div. 1998).

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The rights provided under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act are in addition to any other statutory or common law rights. N.J.S.A. 56:8-2.3 which provides as follows:

The rights, remedies and prohibition accorded by the provisions of this Act are hereby declared to be in addition to and cumulative above any other rights, remedies or prohibition accorded by the common law or statutes of this State, and nothing contained herein shall be construed to deny, abrogate, or impair any such common law or statutory right, redress or prohibition.
The clear intent of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act was to provide consumers with additional and cumulative remedies and in no way curtail their remedial opportunities for the redress of fraud and other unconscionable practices afforded by any other statute or common law.  Cybul v. Atrium Palace Syndicate, 272 N.J. Super. 330, 335 (App. Div. 1994).

In Cybul, the Appellate Division held that the plaintiff could maintain a cause of action under an administrative scheme wherein there was no direct provision for a cause of action to the plaintiff. In Lemelledo v. Beneficial Management, 150 N.J. 255 (1997), a watershed case, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the plaintiff could maintain a private cause of action in addition to a statutory scheme which provided the plaintiff only a return of premiums paid under the policy. The New Jersey Supreme Court held that: “The CFA simply complements those statutes, allowing for regulation by the Division of Consumer Affairs and a private cause of action to recover damages. The damages cause of action in no way inhibits enforcement of other statutes, because a Court can assess damages in addition to any other penalty to which a defendant is subject.” Continue reading ›

National Insurance Crime Bureau or NICB, appears to be an organization, a not-for-profit organization, to assist various entities including law enforcement and insurance companies in preventing various types of insurance fraud. It also appears that they had created, maintain and utilize a database which obtains information from insurance companies among other sources. It appears through the website that there is a service and/or database which were created through National Insurance Brime Bureau that appears to store information on vehicles, stored through their vehicle identification numbers.

It also appears that there is something called VINCheck which is a service various entities can use to check the history of automobiles. One would assume that the reliability and the usefulness of this database depend upon the source of the information.

The NICB was formed in 1992 from a merger between the National Automobile Theft Bureau (NATB) and the Insurance Crime Prevention Institute (ICPI), both of which were not-for-profit organizations. The NATB — which managed vehicle theft investigations and developed vehicle theft databases for use by the insurance industry — dates to the early 20th century, while the ICPI investigated insurance fraud for approximately 20 years before joining with the NATB to form the present National Insurance Crime Bureau.

NICB’s VINCheck is a free service provided to the public to assist in determining if a vehicle has been reported as stolen, but not recovered, or has been reported as a salvage vehicle by cooperating NICB member insurance companies. To perform a search, a vehicle identification number (VIN) is required. A maximum of five searches can be conducted within a 24-hour period per IP address.

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What information is contained in a CARFAX report

Many people are curious as to where Carfax gets all the information. Fortunately, the company who collects this information, Carfax, has placed the sources of their information on their website. One only needs to look at the website to determine if  the source for all the information is accurate. The interesting item on this is the information from insurance companies. Many times people think that all accidents or all claims that are involved with insurance companies get reported to Carfax. According to the Carfax site this is not the case. According to the Carfax site only the information which results in salvage or junk titles gets reported. There is no specific delineation, no specific indication, that any and all claims that are paid on vehicles are reported to Carfax. As an example:  There is an automobile accident and a vehicle receives damage and must be repaired which is paid for by the insurance company. The vehicle is not salvaged or total. One would think that this information should be or would be available to Carfax. According to the website this information is not available to Carfax. The accident report created by the police department might indicate an accident. But without this police reported accident and without this salvage title or junk title being issued it does not appear that in this information be reported. In my experience this is a common misconception with regard to the information contained in and reported on and through Carfax is. Carfax is an excellent resource to look at as far as the background of a vehicle. However it is imperative that you understand the entire data gathering process that is undergone in creating these reports. Nicely, Carfax has created on their website in place to examine all the sources of information. Once you look at this you can determine whether or not you find it personally useful.

The Law Office of Jonathan Rudnick LLC is a consumer law law firm

State Agrees To Settlement with Cherry Hill Triplex in 2009

It appears as though the Division of Consumer Affairs has issued a press release settling an open matter with Cherry Hill Triplex, which is actually Foulke Management Corporation. Cherry Hill Triplex has agreed to a $750,000 settlement with the Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Consumer Affairs: $450,000 is restitution and $300,000 in the civil penalties, which are suspended. The Division of Consumer Affairs case resolves around a lawsuit they filed in March 2006 alleging violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Allegations arose out of the companies’ advertisement of $8,000 guaranteed for the trade, no credit check and instant credit qualifications. The Division of Consumer Affairs was alleging that Cherry Hill Triplex specifically stated “You instantly qualified, regardless of your credit”. The state also alleged that Cherry Hill Triplex failed to properly display prices on new and used motor vehicles. It appears as though Cherry Hill Triplex got caught making promises that they could not keep. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act prohibits affirmative misrepresentations that have the capacity to mislead.

Te Division of Consumer affairs has the power to enforce the Consumer Fraud Act and file suit and negotiate fines and penalties that have been or could be assessed by the State.  This Division has investigated and fined many dealer for deceptive practices.  Remember that you can files suit on your own against and business even if under investigation by the Division of Consumer Affairs

The following are only allegation and must be proven to be true.

The Slatest and AP are reporting on a lawsuit about certain wines having been tested and found to have high levels of arsenic according to the facts underlying the lawsuit. CBS has had the wines independently tested by their own experts.

It appears certain wines have been tested and the levels of arsenic were high. CBS news also reported the story.

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