New Jersey Superior Court

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August 22, 2017

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U.S. Chamber asks to clarify whether consumer rights statute prohibits caps on statutory damages

August 18, 2015

The U.S. Chamber and New Jersey Civil Justice Institute asked the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey to clarify the scope of liability under the New Jersey Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (“TCCWNA”). The TCCWNA makes it unlawful for any seller to “offer to any consumer or prospective consumer [a contract] ... which includes any provision that violates any clearly established legal right of a consumer.”

In this case, two consumers who purchased hardwood flooring from the defendant brought a putative class action alleging that the company’s invoices violated the TCCWNA because the invoices included a damages cap that plaintiffs claim limited their ability to recover their “clearly established legal right” to statutory penalties under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act as well as under TCCWNA itself. The amicus brief argued that the court should adopt a rigorous standard for defining a “clearly established right,” so that businesses have clear notice of what conduct will implicate TCCWNA’s severe penalties.

Gavin J. Rooney and Naomi D. Barrowclough of Lowenstein Sandler LLP served as co-counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and New Jersey Civil Justice Institute.

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