Monday, April 14, 2008

consumer - state UTPCPL - deceptive conduct - pleading

Chiles v. Ameriquest Mortgage Co. - ED Pa. - March 17, 2008

" [T]he Court recognizes that the requirements for fraud under the catchall provision are in flux in Pennsylvania state and federal courts. Several courts require a plaintiff to prove all elements of common law fraud. when asserting a claim under the catch-all provision.... Cf. Christopher, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2255, *9-10 (Plaintiff must plead all elements of common law fraud only if alleging fraud, not deceptive conduct under UTPCPL.) In Christopher, the court interpreted the inclusion of the term “deceptive” into the catch-all provision as relaxing the standard of proof such that actual fraud need not be proved. Id. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has not yet addressed this issue.

The UTPCPL must be construed liberally. See Keller v. Volkswagen of Am., Inc., 733 A.2d 642, 646 (Pa. Super. 1999). This Court will therefore adopt the view that in order for the addition of the terms “or deceptive” to be given effect, all elements of common law fraud need not be proven if Plaintiff alleges deceptive conduct. "