The Hidden Danger for Retailers Doing Business in New Jersey: Alert Regarding the Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act
May 9, 2016
Authored by: Patrick McKey, Maria Vathis, Paula Levitan and Carol Osborne
A New Jersey statute intended to prevent deceptive practices in consumer contracts recently has become a focus for litigation in the state.
The Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act, N.J.S.A. §56:12-14 et seq., (“TCCWNA”) prohibits the use of illegal terms in consumer contracts and also provides that consumer contracts may not state that any of its provisions are void, unenforceable or inapplicable in some jurisdictions “without specifying which provisions are or are not void, unenforceable or inapplicable within the State of New Jersey.” See TCCWNA at §56:12-16. In other words, a general disclaimer regarding a consumer contract that is directed to New Jersey residents is not sufficient. Instead, it appears the customer-facing language used by a retailer should identify the specific provisions of its contracts, warranties, notices, loyalty programs, signs, etc. that are void, unenforceable or inapplicable in New Jersey.
Courts have interpreted the statute to apply to language