NY Consumer Class Action Goes Down the Toilet

The New York Law Journal reports on a consumer class action lawsuit against Proctor & Gamble in New York over whether the company’s Charmin Freshmates wipes are “flushable” as had been advertised.  The plaintiff, who sued under New York’s consumer fraud statute seeking money damages and a permanent injunction to block the company from representing the wipes as “flushable,” claimed the wipes clogged his plumbing.  P&G argued that the plaintiff lacked standing to sue because he could not show that injunctive relief would redress a real and immediate threat of injury to him.  The company also argued that the plaintiff failed to show the alleged inadequate or false disclosures caused his injury.  U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein ruled to allow the class action to proceed.  To read the entire article, please click here.

Personal Injury Lawyers File Half-Baked Class Action Lawsuits in South Jersey

The Courier Post reports that class action lawsuits were recently filed in Camden, New Jersey, against three supermarket chains — Acme, Wegmans, and Whole Foods.  Personal injury lawyers apparently allege that the grocers violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act by claiming bakery goods were baked fresh in-house when in fact the baked goods had been prepared elsewhere and reheated in the stores, and that this constitutes a violation of the CFA.  To read the full article, please click here.

Video Now Available of October 2nd Event on New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act

On October 2, 2014, ATRA and the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute co-hosted a panel discussion in Whippany, New Jersey entitled “Refocusing on Fraud: The Devolution of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.”  The panel, moderated by former federal District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh, featured Emory University Law School professor Joanna Shepherd, and attorneys Gavin Rooney of Lowenstein Sandler and William J. Pinilis of Pinilis Halpern, who have experience pursuing and defending CFA claims in New Jersey.  The discussion covered the evolution of the CFA, its current effectiveness, and what reforms, if any, the panelists would like to see in this area of law.

ATRA President Sherman Joyce’s Column on New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act

Sherman “Tiger” Joyce writes in the New Jersey Law Journal that New Jersey’s well-intentioned Consumer Fraud Act (CFA), with its origins to the 1960s, has been so distorted and contorted by legislative amendments and judicial interpretations that it is now just as likely to be used to boost trial lawyers’ bank accounts as it is to compensate truly defrauded consumers.  To read the entire article, please click here (subscription required).

Column: NJ Can Protect Consumers Without Promoting Lawsuits

Writing in NJSpotlight.com, Marcus Rayner, President of the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute, highlights the problems with New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act (CFA).  Rayner summarizes the findings of a soon-to-be published white paper written by Emory University Law School professor Joanna Shepherd for the American Tort Reform Foundation, in which Professor Shepherd demonstrates that reported consumer fraud claims in New Jersey increased 450 percent from 2000 through 2009, roughly three times the national average during the same time period.  Much of this increase is attributable to the over 200 amendments added by well-meaning but misguided policy makers to expand the scope of the  original Act, including a 1971 amendment  which created a private right of action.  Rayner concludes by offering-up some commonsense reforms that would “ensure that the Consumer Fraud Act is used to punish deceptive business practices and protect consumers without enabling nuisance litigation against honest businesses.”  To read the entire column, please click here.