HDRB&B’s client, a New Jersey towing company, was named as a defendant in a consumer fraud class action lawsuit in Bergen County, New Jersey. Plaintiff alleged that the towing company had violated New Jersey’s Predatory Towing Prevention Act (the “PTPA”) and that these violations were in turn violations of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and the Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (the “TCCWNA”).
The trial court granted HDRB&B’s motion to strike Plaintiff’s class action claims at the pleading stage, but the Appellate Division reversed. HDRB&B then moved for interlocutory review before the New Jersey Supreme Court, which is rarely granted. In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court granted HDRB&B’s motion for review and affirmed the Appellate Division’s judgment in part and reversed it in part.
The Supreme Court adopted HDRB&B’s position that the alleged violations of the PTPA were not violations of the TCCWNA and dismissed that claim. TCCWNA claims often increase the costs of litigating and resolving consumer fraud class actions, and the Supreme Court’s decision significantly curtails the application of the statute.