Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Consumer Fraud Class Action Against Unclaimed Property Recovery Services Firm
We obtained a dismissal of a consumer fraud class action against our clients, a national firm and its principal, who specialize in identifying and reclaiming lost property for consumers who are unaware that such lost property exists. The plaintiff brought claims under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) and for fraudulent inducement, arguing that the business model was deceptive because consumers could recover their own property without paying for the ease and convenience of having the defendant business work on their behalf. Not surprisingly, the district court found that the plaintiff’s serial complaints failed to allege anything “more than Defendants’ expertise,” and that there was no factual basis to support the notion that consumers are unduly influenced or misled. On appeal, the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal, expressly noting that the defendants made no misrepresentation at any time, and the UTPCPL and fraud claims were dismissed as without merit. DeSimone v. U.S. Claims Servs., Inc., 2020 WL 2556949 (E.D. Pa. May 20, 2020), aff’d 2021 WL 1662779 (3d Cir. Apr. 28, 2021).