Marcus Rayner • Executive Director | NJLRA

NJLRA supports A1064, which eliminates the awarding of attorneys’ fees for technical violations of the Consumer Fraud Act.

Thank you, Chairman Moriarty and members of the committee, for the opportunity to share the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance’s (NJLRA) support for Assembly Bill 1064. On behalf of our members, NJLRA supports the bill and urges the committee to release it today.

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (“NJCFA”) was rightly enacted in 1960 to supplement federal statutes that protect citizens against deceptive business practices.  In recent years, unfortunately, the NJCFA has become a lawsuit magnet.  Suing under the NJCFA was never intended to be an avenue of first resort when resolving business disputes – especially minor ones where there are many alternatives to litigation.  Yet today, emboldened by the prospect of significant financial payouts, plaintiffs from around the nation routinely exploit loopholes in our law, pursuing abusive lawsuits instead of using common sense. Suits alleging NJCFA violations are increasingly common because it has become so easy to file a suit.

Today, our courts routinely allow out-of-state plaintiffs (many with out-of-state transactions) to file suit in NJ and some judges do not require actual loss of property or money to sue under the NJCFA.  And small infractions can add up to awards of millions of dollars when attorney’s fees are included.

This legislation, A-1064, is an excellent first step to strengthening New Jersey’s consumer fraud act so that it protects consumers from unscrupulous businesses while ensuring that honest businesses do not become victims of frivolous lawsuits. 

NJLRA therefore urges your support of A-1064.  Thank you for your consideration.