The New Jersey Supreme Court has just announced that it will answer the following certified questions about New Jersey’s Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA):
Is a consumer who receives a contract that does not comply with the Delivery of Household Furniture and Furnishings Regulations (Furniture Delivery Regulations), N.J.A.C. 13:45A-5, but has not suffered any adverse consequences from the noncompliance, an “aggrieved consumer” under the Truth-in-Consumer Contract Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA), N.J.S.A. 56:12-17; and, does a violation of the Furniture Delivery Regulations alone constitute a violation of a clearly established right or responsibility of the seller under the TCCWNA and thus provide a basis for relief under the TCCWNA?
The court’s answer will provide clarity not only to the Third Circuit, which is looking for guidance as it decides the cases David Spade v. Select Comfort Corp. and Christopher Wenger v. Bob’s Discount Furniture, LLC, but to everyone.
Clarifying what the terms “aggrieved consumer” and “clearly established legal right” mean will go a long way toward ensuring that this statute does what it was designed to do, protect consumers, without being a tool that attorneys can use to troll for lawsuits against well-meaning businesses.
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Last week the New Jersey State Bar Association held its annual convention in Atlantic City. Over 2,500 judges, lawyers, law clerks and law students headed down the shore in search of CLEs and the scoop on emerging legal issues. In the following post, NJCJI’s Emily Kelchen reveals her insights on issues of interest to the civil justice community that were discussed at the convention. Continue reading
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Federal courts in the Third Circuit, which includes New Jersey, are abuzz with activity on the once obscure topic of ascertainability. The latest beneficiary of the court system’s focus on this issue is none other than New Jersey’s own Bethenny Frankel, former Real Housewife and the founder of the Skinny Girl line of drinks. Continue reading
Although the class-action device has been prevalent in the federal courts for decades, there has been a recent surge in case law developing around the requirements for class certification. One of the elements receiving new attention is the requirement of “ascertainability”—essentially, the feasibility and reliability of identifying the potential class members.
The Third Circuit’s recent decision not to reconsider en banc its ruling in Carrera v. Bayer, 727 F.3d 300 (3d Cir. Aug. 21, 2013), has further clarified and significantly strengthened the standard of “ascertainability” necessary for a class action to be certified. The decision has the potential to curtail consumer class-action litigation of dubious value, at least in the Third Circuit, and also underscores the importance of expanded access to interlocutory appeal of class certification decisions. Continue reading