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Consultechnologies Corporation v. Cossen

A-1220-98T3 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2000) (Unpublished)

CONSUMER FRAUD—For purposes of the Consumer Fraud Act, a consumer is one who uses economic goods, and so diminishes or destroys their utilities.

A computer consulting company contracted with a placement agency for computer consultants. The consulting company was engaged to perform services for a particular client, which was to pay an agent who was then to pay the consultant. After completion of the job, the agency was alleged to owe the consulting company a significant amount of money. The consulting company sued the agency alleging, among other things, a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act. The Court recognized that the essential dispute between the parties was a contractual one, but while the consultant may have had a valid claim for contract damages, the dispute did not implicate consumer fraud remedies. “Only one who is a consumer may seek such remedies. A consumer is ‘one who uses economic goods, and so diminishes or destroys their utilities.’” Because the Court found that “nothing about this transaction involved the use and diminution of economic goods,” a claim under the Consumer Fraud Act could not be sustained.


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