this appeal, plaintiff's claims were similar to those considered by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Dugan v. TGI Fridays, Inc., 231 N.J. 24 (2017), as they related to defendant's sale of beverages from menus that did not include prices for the items sold. The court's majority determined that the Law Division improperly denied plaintiff's motion for class certification under Rule 4:32-1(b)(2). The majority concluded that the concerns raised by the Dugan Court about class certification under Rule 4:32-1(b)(3) of claims for damages under the Consumer Fraud Act (CFA), N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 to -210, and the Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA), N.J.S.A. 56:12-14 to -18, did not apply to plaintiff's class action for injunctive relief under (b)(2) in this case.
According to the majority neither the Dugan's Court's concern about whether plaintiff could make a showing that members of the putative class sustained an ascertainable loss under the CFA, nor its trepidation that certifying a (b)(3) class exposed the Dugan defendant to a disproportional amount of civil penalties under the TCCWNA were considerations applicable to plaintiff's motion in this case. Here, the majority held that in determining whether cohesiveness existed among class members, the trial court should have considered whether the remedy sought would be applicable to all members or to none of them.
The dissenting opinion concludes that the trial court correctly denied the motion for class certification under Rule 4:32-1(b)(2). According to the dissent, certification of the class for the CFA claims was not warranted because plaintiff would be required to establish that all members of the class sustained a bona fide ascertainable loss, which is an essential element of a claim under the CFA. Such claims are not cohesive since they depend on the individual's experience in purchasing beverages at defendant's restaurants. The claims under the TCCWNA also lack cohesion because relief could only be awarded to members of the class are "aggrieved consumers," and such claims also are dependent upon the class members' personal experiences.