Have You Been Sued By Harold Hoffman?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

September 2, 2015

Harold-HoffmanIn the last several years, Harold Hoffman (“Hoffman”) has filed dozens of class action lawsuits in the state and federal courts of New Jersey. One common theme of many of these class action matters has been reliance on the State’s Consumer Fraud Act (“CFA”) to form the basis of his suits. Hoffman’s class actions typically focus on the sale or advertisement of a variety of goods and services, ranging from espresso machines and flowers, to cable television and online dating. Most recently, Hoffman has turned his attention to email marketing (e.g. “spam”) claims.

In the past several months, Harold Hoffman has filed a series of essentially identical “spam” class action lawsuits in the Superior Courts of New Jersey. Although his claims have evolved in complexity (after certain earlier iterations were dismissed), the current claims contain common factual allegations and legal theories. Specifically, it seems that Hoffman has set up multiple email accounts in his own name and in the name of various aliases. Messages sent to these email accounts appear to be forwarded/routed by Hoffman to a central email account. When these email messages reach Hoffman’s central repository, they apparently do not indicate from which email account they were forwarded. Hoffman then appears to target email communications that either have the sender’s name in the email “To” line or have a blank email “To” line. We have seen this result in his claiming that he cannot unsubscribe from these email messages because he cannot determine to which of his email addresses they were originally sent. Hoffman’s complaints may also include generalized claims that the unsubscribe mechanisms in the subject email communications do not work and that his efforts to unsubscribe by U.S. postal mail are not honored.

Based upon the above facts, Hoffman has filed class action complaints alleging multiple violations of the CFA, violations of New Jersey’s Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (“NJ RICO”), as well as claims for civil conspiracy. Because Hoffman’s litigation strategy has been to aggressively litigate these claims, defense costs can mount quickly.

Fortunately, there are multiple defenses to each of the claims alleged in these actions. The CFA and NJ RICO statutes have very specific pleading requirements. In addition, civil conspiracy is not a standalone claim in New Jersey. As such, when the CFA and NJ RICO claims are dismissed, the civil conspiracy claims must also be dismissed.

What Should You Do If Harold Hoffman or Any Other CFA or NJ RICO Plaintiff Sues You?

The key to successfully and promptly disposing of a CFA or a NJ RICO suit is retaining counsel that understands the nuances of Internet marketing, as well as relevant statutes and case law.

Of course the best way to succeed in any action relating to email marketing is to work closely with experienced counsel before you begin any email marketing campaign. In this industry, perhaps more than any other, a penny of prevention truly is worth more than a pound of cure.

If you are interested in this topic, email marketing or have been served by Harold Hoffman with litigation papers, please e-mail us at info@kleinmoynihan.com, or call us at (212) 246-0900.

The material contained herein is provided for information purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.  Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.

Attorney Advertising

Related Blog Posts:

Defending a Spam Lawsuit

How to Defend a TCPA Class Action

Full Service Litigation

David O. Klein

David O. Klein

David Klein is one of the most recognized attorneys in the telemarketing, technology, Internet marketing, sweepstakes and telecommunications fields. Skilled at counseling clients on a broad range of technology-related matters, David Klein has substantial experience in negotiating and drafting complex licensing, marketing and Internet agreements.

Schedule a Call
In The Know

Trending Topics

Creating a Viral and Legally Compliant "Pin to Win" Contest- Klein Moynihan Turco

Creating a Viral (And Legally Compliant) “Pin to Win” Contest

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

We have frequently written about the marketing benefits associated with the use of promotional contests and sweepstakes.  Promotional contests and sweepstakes often appear on social media platforms, which provide companies with a free and effective means to increase the number of consumers participating in their respective contests. While companies must

Facebook Decision defines a TCPA Autodialer- Klein Moynihan Turco LLP

Facebook Aftermath: Courts Clarify Definition of TCPA Autodialer

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

On April 1st, the U.S. Supreme Court released its opinion in Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid, marking a newly clarified definition of “autodialer” within the meaning of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). In the two weeks that followed, two federal courts have directly addressed the definition of TCPA autodialer as

Critical Role that TCPA Plays in Outbound Telemarketing- KMT

The Critical Role that the TCPA Plays in Outbound Telemarketing

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

If you’re running any sort of outbound telemarketing campaign – phone calls, voicemail drops, or text messaging – you need to understand the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and its enabling regulations. Call center operators are not the only businesses that employ outbound telemarketing to reach out to consumers. Using

How to Use Promotional Marketing the Legal Way: Klein Moynihan Turco LLP

How To Use Promotional Marketing The Legal Way

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The use of promotional contests, games and sweepstakes marketing can be a dynamic and cost-effective way to increase sales, build a database of interested consumers and otherwise increase brand awareness and buzz. Consumers are more easily attracted to your marketing message by the opportunity to win prizes than with more

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin