New York’s highest court has refused to dismiss fraud claims against officers of NSL, an equipment-leasing company, accused of hiding overcharges in NSL’s contracts with small businesses nationwide. The case is headed back to trial court in Manhattan, which will first decide whether to certify it as a class-action suit with up to 700,000 victims. It’s reported that overcharges by Northern Leasing Systems of a few dollars monthly for insurance waivers on office equipment could total $180 million over the past ten years. The leasing company denied it told independent sales outlets to hide the contracts’ fine print or to refuse to give copies to customers.
In its ruling, the Court of Appeals majority said it’s reasonable to infer NLS officers would have been involved if there was a national scheme to mislead customers about contract terms. Plaintiffs in the appeal were from New York, Missouri, Texas and Washington State. New York-based NLS leases credit card processing and other office equipment. At issue is whether NLS’s four-page contracts were designed to appear, or were presented, as one-page contracts, signed at the bottom of the first page, with a notice in small print of more pages where the language about insurance waivers and other terms appeared.
Source: Insurance Journal
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