New York has a law that prohibits fraud and deception. This law can provide remedies for deception, fraud, false advertising or other unlawful conduct. There are unfortunately limits and the New York law is one of the weakest in the nation. The law and commentary.
§ 349. Deceptive acts and practices unlawful.
a) Deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any business, trade or commerce or in the furnishing of any service in this state are hereby declared unlawful.
b) Whenever the attorney general shall believe from evidence satisfactory to him that any person, firm, corporation or association or agent or employee thereof has engaged in or is about to engage in any of the acts or practices stated to be unlawful he may bring an action in the name and on behalf of the people of the state of New York to enjoin such unlawful acts or practices and to obtain restitution of any moneys or property obtained directly or indirectly by any such unlawful acts or practices. ..
g) This section shall apply to all deceptive acts or practices declared to be unlawful, whether or not subject to any other law of this state, and shall not supersede, amend or repeal any other law of this state under which the attorney general is authorized to take any action or conduct any inquiry.
h) In addition to the right of action granted to the attorney general pursuant to this section, any person who has been injured by reason of any violation of this section may bring an action in his own name to enjoin such unlawful act or practice, an action to recover his actual damages or fifty dollars, whichever is greater, or both such actions.
The law continues,
“The court may, in its discretion, increase the award of damages to an amount not to exceed three times the actual damages up to one thousand dollars, if the court finds the defendant willfully or knowingly violated this section. The court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to a prevailing plaintiff.” Thus, the question is sometimes whether a deliberate violation has been shown. Automatic or statutory damages are limited so the consumer must establish the amount of his loss of damages.
One can compare the stronger New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Tripling occurs when a violation is found, not when the court decides in its discretion. Additionally the award of legal fees is discretionary in New York, when other states provides for the recovery though the court may evaluate the amount
Call (973) 598-1980 for a Free Consultation on your New York Deceptive Practices Claim