The Bumpers Decision

Last fall, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued a major decision, Bumpers v. Community Bank of Northern Virginia, 747 S.E.2d 220 (N.C. 2013), that helps to define the elements of a claim under section 75-1.1. The court held that when a section 75-1.1 claim is based on an alleged misrepresentation, the plaintiff must prove that she actually and reasonably relied on the statements at issue.

We represent the defendant in Bumpers. Because the case is on remand, we won’t characterize the case further here. But the supreme court’s opinion merits a close read by everyone who wants to understand the law in this area.

Here’s a recent newsletter article that describes the Bumpers decision in detail. Likewise, here’s contemporaneous coverage of the decision on the N.C. Appellate Practice Blog. (These articles state their authors’ views, not necessarily ours.)

2 Responses to The Bumpers Decision

  1. This opinion is very interesting. It would be interesting to know at what rate the court would have determined the fees ran afoul of 75-1.1.

  2. For a new decision that shows the effects of Bumpers, see Helm Builders, LLC v. United Bank & Trust Co., No. 1:11CV187, 2014 WL 1921088 (M.D.N.C. May 14, 2014).

    Judge Tilley tried the case on the theory that the plaintiffs’ 75-1.1 claim was coterminous with their claims for fraud and negligent misrepresentation. He cited Bumpers as the basis for this decision. See id. at *3-4 & n.4. Judge Tilley acknowledged that section 75-1.1 allows non-representation-based claims, but he stressed that these plaintiffs were pursuing representation-based claims alone. See id. at *4.

    Because the jury rejected the claims for fraud and negligent misrepresentation, Judge Tilley held, the 75-1.1 claim had no basis. See id. at *3.

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