2008 Judge Gambardella - Opinions

Judge Rosemary Gambardella -- Opinions signed in 2008

Summary for In re NorVergence, Inc. (Wanland and Associates, Inc.)

The complaint alleged that the defendants or providers of telecommunication equipment and services knew or should have known of the debtor’s scheme to defraud debtor’s clients by inducing them to lease equipment that was worthless and that the providers profited by supplying services to the debtor. There was an open question as to whether the providers by the use of their trademarked logos, had a duty to disclose any misuse by the debtor; thus, dismissal on the grounds of no duty was premature. The court denied the providers’ motions to dismiss the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim. The parties disputed the scope of the providers’ knowledge of the debtor’s fraudulent scheme, and further discovery was necessary to determine if the elements of a claim under N.J.S.A. Section 56:8-2 were met. Accepting the complaint allegations as true, it was plausible that but for the presence of the providers’ logos on the promotional materials, the class members would not have signed the leases. The complaint stated a claim for relief that was plausible on its face and not merely a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action for negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. The fraud based claims were sufficiently pled under Fed. R. Civ. P.9(b).

The court denied the motions to dismiss. As to the employee’s motion for summary judgment, the court issued a continuance in accord with Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(f) for a continuance to allow the lessee to conduct further discovery for the purpose of responding to the employee’s summary judgment motion.