Reflections and Gratitude
Ellis & Winters
We started this blog about eight months ago. We did so because of the prevalence of section 75-1.1 claims in North Carolina business disputes. Indeed, it’s the unusual business dispute in North Carolina that does not include a 75-1.1 claim or counterclaim.
For two reasons, the frequency of these claims is no surprise. First, section 75-1.1 has loosely defined standards. Second, a claimant who can satisfy these standards will win treble damages and will have a good shot at recovering attorney fees.
In the parlance of the NBA draft, a 75-1.1 claim has tremendous upside.
As we have discussed this year, however, not all 75-1.1 claims are created equal. For example:
- A 75-1.1 claim that is tied to a breach of contract not only must entail “substantial aggravating circumstances,” but might also need to sidestep the economic-loss rule.
- A 75-1.1 claim based on out-of-state conduct must show a substantial in-state effect—a standard that is subject to varying interpretations.
- A 75-1.1 claim for false advertising must show that someone made a buying decision based on the allegedly false statements.
- A 75-1.1 claim that is based on a violation of another source of law might require additional facts before it can generate treble damages.
We look forward to assessing these and other issues further in 2015.
Most importantly, we are incredibly grateful to you, the reader—not only for reading our posts, but also for offering your comments and ideas.
Thank you again, and best wishes for a fair and deception-free holiday season.
Author: Stephen Feldman