Justia Consumer Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Antitrust
Long v. Dell, Inc.
Plaintiffs, Nicholas Long and Julianne Ricci, purchased Dell computers in late 2000. In 2003, Plaintiffs filed this putative class action lawsuit alleging that Dell violated the Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DPTA) and was negligent in charging Plaintiffs sales tax on nontaxable services purchased in conjunction with the computers. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of Dell. The case remained pending for more than ten years. Here, the Supreme Court (1) affirmed the grant of summary judgment on the negligence count and on the request for injunctive relief by Long; (2) vacated the grant of summary judgment on the DTPA count by Ricci; and (3) affirmed the superior court’s grant of Plaintiffs’ motion to strike the tax administrator’s affirmative defenses. Remanded.View "Long v. Dell, Inc." on Justia Law
Kesling v. Hubler Nissan, Inc.
After purchasing a car from Defendant, a car dealership, Plaintiff discovered that the car had extensive problems. Plaintiff sued Defendant, alleging that advertising the car as a "Sporty Car at a Great Value Price" violated the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act and that the salesperson's representation to her that the car would "just need a tune-up" was fraudulent. The trial court granted summary judgment for Defendant. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the trial court correctly found that Defendant's advertisement was classic puffery, which was fatal to Plaintiff's deception claims; but (2) Plaintiff established an issue of material fact as to her fraud claim based on the salesperson's statements. Remanded.View "Kesling v. Hubler Nissan, Inc." on Justia Law
Gulfco of La. Inc. v. Brantley
Appellant was in the business of extending high-risk loans to customers with poor credit ratings and operated primarily in Louisiana. Appellees, who resided in Arkansas, obtained four loans from Appellant at its location in Louisiana. After Appellees failed to make payments on the loans, Appellant filed in an Arkansas circuit court a notice of default and intention to sell Appellees' home. Appellees asserted the defenses of usury, unconscionability, esoppel, unclean hands, predatory lending practices, and a violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The circuit court found that the loans constituted predatory lending by a foreign corporation not authorized to do business in Arkansas and that the contract between the parties was unconscionable and could not be given full faith and credit. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court's findings of unconscionability and predatory lending practices were not clearly erroneous; and (2) court did not err in refusing to enforce the mortgage, as to do so would contravene the public policy of the State of Arkansas.View "Gulfco of La. Inc. v. Brantley" on Justia Law
Bumpers v. Cmty. Bank of N. Va.
Plaintiffs obtained loans from Defendant, a bank. Plaintiffs later, on behalf of themselves and all those similarly situated, filed a complaint alleging that Defendant's loan transactions violated North Carolina's unfair and deceptive practices statute. Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that they paid loan discount fees but did not receive discounted loans and that the fees they were charged in connection with origination of their loans were unnecessary and unreasonable. The trial court granted partial summary judgment for Plaintiffs on their loan discount claims and excessive pricing claims under N.C. Gen. Stat. 75-1.1. The court of appeals affirmed entry of summary judgment on Plaintiffs' loan discount claims but reversed the grant of summary judgment on the excessive fees claims. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) issues of material fact existed in regards to Plaintiffs' loan discount claims; and (2) Plaintiffs' excessive pricing claims were not recognized by section 75-1.1. Remanded.View "Bumpers v. Cmty. Bank of N. Va." on Justia Law
Johnston v. Centennial Log Homes & Furnishings, Inc.
The Leonards entered into contracts with Centennial for the sale of a log home kit and construction of a custom log home. The Leonards later released Centennial from any claims for damages for defective construction or warranty arising out of the home's construction. Greg and Elvira Johnston held a thirty-six percent interest in the property at the time the release was signed. Eventually, all interest in the property was transferred to the Elvira Johnston Trust. A few years later, because of a number of construction defects affecting the structural integrity of the house, the Johnstons decided to demolish the house. The Johnstons sued Centennnial for negligent construction, breach of statutory and implied warranties, and other causes of action. The district court granted summary judgment for Centennial, finding that the Johnstons' claims were time-barred and were waived by the Leonards' release. The Supreme Court (1) reversed the court's ruling that the Johnstons' claims were time-barred and directed that the decision on remand apply only to the interest owned by the Johnstons at the time the release was executed; and (2) affirmed the district court's conclusion that the release was binding on the Leonards' sixty-four percent interest, later transferred to the Trust.View "Johnston v. Centennial Log Homes & Furnishings, Inc." on Justia Law