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False Advertising

The New York statute General Business Law section 350 seeks to protect consumers from companies' false advertising of goods and services. Our New York City false advertising lawyers have used this law, namely in the context of a class action, to attack the misrepresentations a company would use in their advertising to lure consumers to purchase their product or service, for the consumer to discover only later that he/she was duped in the transaction. In the meantime, the consumer, having been induced into the purchase by relying on the advertising, may have gained little to no benefit from the service or product or worse, they are in a worse position than before purchase.

Successful prosecution under this false advertising statute should yield the award of attorney’s fees and costs of the lawsuit. GBL 350 is known as a “fee-shifting” statute: a consumer is entitled to have his/her attorney’s fees and costs paid for by the company perpetrating the false advertising. This is crucial when the actual damages due to the false advertising may be minor for the one loan consumer, making individual prosecution of the case economically infeasible.

Money damages from false advertising can be significant to the point of devastating. While we are all guaranteed freedom of speech from the US Constitution, that right does not exempt false and misleading advertising from potential civil liability. Freedom of speech is a constitutional guarantee, which includes commercial speech. Nowadays perhaps more than ever in our history, freedom of speech includes speech that some people might consider offensive, fighting words or even “fake news.” However, the laws of false advertising is meant to redress an intentional or negligent misrepresentation when a company uses it to entice a consumer out of his/her money. The New York statute cited above is a vehicle meant to level the playing field: to provide as close to an honest marketplace as consumers can have.

Defendants fighting back against a plaintiff and their New York City false advertising attorney will often claim the defense that the advertising is an expression of opinion and not an expression of fact; that the ad was mere “puffery” and the consumer has to beware of language if he/she is viewing it and acting upon it reasonably. The issue of opinion v. fact can be determined by a judge or jury as trier of fact.

Oftentimes, misleading statements from a company or person come in the form of misrepresentations as to quality of a product or service, timing of delivery, warranty, prices, and numerous other aspects to lure a consumer to buy. Other examples can include deceptive labeling, claims above “puffery” or simple opinions about a product or service, bait-and-switch scams, highly bloated sales tactics, and the failure to disclose important information.

It is unfortunately not often that an advertiser tells the full truth about a product or service, especially as to facts that a consumer cannot always verify him/herself even with some due diligence. The normal consumer cannot verify what services are necessary to settle an IRS tax debt, what ingredients are in a medicinal product or what specific results can be gained from a stock or other investment. Customers have a reasonable right to trust advertising regarding product information, and the false advertising lawyers at our New York City firm are here to help them enforce that right.

Perhaps the worst victimization of consumers comes with the infamous “fine print.” We at the Firm have seen so many uses and abuses of fine print that companies engage in to weasel out liability for a myriad of transactions. Fine print usually contains a disclaimer or a consumer’s waiver of liability of a substantial right.

The Linden Law Group, P.C. files and defends false advertising claims in New York City’s five boroughs, including New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Kings, Bronx, Staten Island (Richmond ) counties, Long Island’s Nassau & Suffolk Counties, Westchester, Orange, Rockland and certain up-state New York counties.

Client Reviews
I highly recommend this law firm. Attorneys Unger and Benjamin battled a real estate scammer who defrauded me out of substantial money. They were able to get a good result for me after the defendants put up numerous obstacles and delays over 18 months. And they were honest with me regarding their upfront and contingency fees. Definitely hire this firm if you are a victim of fraud or breach of contract. Rebekah W.
Over the years I have had dealings with many of attorneys and I can honestly say that Mr. Benjamin is the best lawyer I have ever worked with. He's conscientious, and takes care of your case as if his own interests were at stake. He's professional, always answered my calls and takes the time to discuss the best course to take. Everything was done timely and efficiently. I couldn't be happier with the result. I wish they were all like him. The best decision I made was to use him for all my legal needs. Nancy O.
Attorney Benjamin is an excellent attorney. He battled a finance company for me for nine years, defeating multiple motions that were thrown at him over the years. He is an honest, compassionate and trustworthy attorney, and was an aggressive advocate for me for a long time. After so many years, he finally got a great result in August, 2015 after defeating still another motion by the lender. I highly recommend Attorney Benjamin. Daniel O.
We hired this Firm on July 20, 2018 to sue a company for fraud. While the case took longer than we wanted, the lawyers battled for 1 year with this nationwide real estate company to expose the scam they inflicted on us. In order to get to settlement, our lawyer Jeffrey Benjamin cut the Firm's fee in order that we could put more money in our pocket and settle. The lawyers here are honest and bent over backwards to make us happy and settle, and not drag out the case for years. We are so happy we went with this Firm. Thank you. K.J.