Tag Archives: New Jersey

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The Surge of “TCCWNA” Class Actions in New Jersey

Until recently, the New Jersey Truth-In-Consumer Contract Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA or the Act) was a relatively obscure consumer protection statute that sat dormant on New Jersey’s books for almost three decades. That all changed when a series of cases opened the floodgates to consumer class action litigation. In April, the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute issued a staggering prediction that the wave of TCCWNA lawsuits against retailers and other defendants could double in size over the next two years. Building Up TCCWNA The…

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New Jersey Rules No Scientific Connection Between Talc and Ovarian Cancer

This year, an emerging legal and scientific battle is brewing across the country as to whether use of talc products by women in the perineal area can lead to ovarian cancer. While the FDA has stated there is no established casual connection and those products remain on the market, two St. Louis courts permitted plaintiffs’ experts to testify as to a causal connection, which resulted in juries awarded $72 million and $55 million against Johnson and Johnson. Those verdicts have led to a spike in…

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What Impact Does Spokeo Have on TCCWNA?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins has, rightfully, attracted much attention in the world of class action litigation. The court reaffirmed that plaintiffs must possess Article III standing to bring suit in federal courts, clarifying that plaintiffs must allege a concrete injury as opposed to a mere statutory/procedural violation by a defendant. Defendants will rely on the decision to argue that plaintiffs are not able to allege or show any concrete injury with respect to many of the statutory based…

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New Jersey’s High Court Opens Door for Toxic Tort Liability to Individuals Other Than Spouses in Take-Home Exposure Cases

In a recent decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the premise liability of a landowner can go beyond the spouse of an exposed person of a toxic substance on the landowner’s property. In its ruling, the court would not set a limitation as to how far the duty could extend, but stressed each case would have to be determined on its own facts. In the case, the plaintiffs, Paul and Brenda Ann Schwartz, claimed that Mr. Schwartz was exposed to beryllium that…

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Gym Class Dismissed: Monthly Gym Memberships Not Governed by TILA

As anyone who has ever seen laundry draped on an unused treadmill can attest, there is a big difference between investing in exercise equipment and investing the time to actually use the equipment. The same holds true for gym memberships. Not surprisingly,  there are many people who join gyms with the best intentions to exercise regularly who then later regret signing a long term contract to belong to a gym they no longer use. Also, not surprisingly, most states have some sort of consumer protection…

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To Each His Own … Law

In a ruling that could make legal cases more predictable for companies, a New Jersey court held that laws from other states could apply to different defendants in the same negligence case. The case involved a couple who was given incorrect information regarding their child’s chances of being born with Tay-Sachs. The plaintiffs filed a wrongful birth claim, also known as a wrongful life claim, which is when a medical provider allegedly failed to warn parents of the risk of conceiving a child with serious…

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NJ Court Considers Defendant’s Conduct, In Part, In Rejecting Ascertainability Doctrine

Class action practitioners and companies who have encountered class action lawsuits in recent years are undoubtedly aware of the ascertainability doctrine, which, particularly in the 3rd Circuit, has been successfully used to challenge class certification. The ascertainability doctrine requires that a class definition must be sufficiently definite so that it is administratively feasible for the court to determine whether a particular person is a member of the proposed class, and the identity of the class members must be identified by reference to objective criteria. Courts…

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Remember: Ascertainable Loss Needed for NJ Consumer Fraud Act Claim

Last week, the Appellate Division upheld the dismissal of a claim under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.  In Schroeck v. Knight Mgmt. Ins. Servs., the Appellate Court affirmed Judge Willis Currier’s determination that the plaintiff had not suffered an ascertainable loss, as is required by the CFA, and thus could not pursue a CFA claim. This case arose in the context of a motor vehicle purchase.  The plaintiff purchased a…

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“Natural” Label Continues To Be Problematic

Recently, there has been a nationwide push by consumer advocates to litigate consumer fraud claims against companies selling products labeled as ‘natural,’ as discussed in previous blog posts here.  Typically, plaintiffs seek damages for violations of consumer protection legislation and allege false advertising or mis-labeling of the products. This week, a New Jersey District Court judge allowed a case to proceed, in part, against Church & Dwight Co. for deodorant sold under the Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural brand. The plaintiffs argued in Trewin,

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“Natural” Juice Manufacturer Gets Squeezed

Last month, my colleagues here at Goldberg Segalla wrote about food labeling litigation and offered suggestions about to how to defend it.  Their article, entitled “The New Food Fight: Defending Against Labeling Litigation,” is available here.  In it, they note that only a small portion of food litigation involves manufacturing defect claims.  The bulk of it is based on advertising claims that have little to do with health or nutrition.  While various claims have been targeted, a common one is the claim that a…

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