Unenforceable Terms Can Cut Both Ways: TCCWNA Case Gets Tossed on Standing Grounds
Does a consumer have standing to sue under New Jersey’s Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (“TCCWNA”) simply on the basis that the consumer believes a company’s website Terms contain provisions that violate the TCCWNA? No, said a New Jersey federal court in Hite v. Lush Internet Inc., No. 16-1533 (D.N.J. March 22, 2017).
While Lush benefited from its unenforceable Terms, most (if not all) companies would of course prefer a different avenue of attack against TCCWNA claims. Fortunately, the court also ruled that Plaintiff lacked standing because she did not allege a concrete harm. Merely seeking to bring website terms into compliance with the TCCWNA does not confer standing where Plaintiff does not seek to enforce any actual rights. Businesses plagued by TCCWNA complaints premised solely on alleged technical violations can use this decision to seek dismissal of such claims that are divorced from actual harm.