The District of New Jersey’s recent decision in Truglio v. Planet Fitness, Inc. provides valuable lessons on pleading claims under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (“CFA”), Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty, and Notice Act (“TCCWNA”), and Health Club Services Act (“HCSA”). Not only does the district court’s opinion reinforce the requirement of an ascertainable loss to sustain a CFA claim, but it also confirms that omissions are not actionable under the TCCWNA. Moreover, the district court’s conclusion that the plaintiff in this putative class action did not plead an ascertainable loss directly called into question the subject matter jurisdiction of the court: is there $5 million in controversy under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) if the plaintiff has not alleged an ascertainable loss? Read below for more on this case, and stay tuned for additional developments after supplemental briefing on the CAFA issue.
By way of background, the plaintiff in Truglio enrolled in a health club membership through a “Membership Agreement.” Without cancelling or attempting to cancel the membership, the plaintiff filed a putative class action lawsuit, alleging that the agreement’s lack of bond or other security statement, alleged failure to conspicuously state the plaintiff’s total payment obligation, and use of allegedly misleading cancellation provisions, violated the CFA, TCCWNA, and HCSA. Following removal to district court based on CAFA jurisdiction, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court granted the defendants’ motion in part, but also remanded for further briefing.