Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New
Kevin PLUDEMAN, Chris Hanzsek d/b/a Hanzsek Audio, Sara Jane Hush, Ozark Mountain Granite & Tile Co. and Dennis E. Lauchman, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. NORTHERN LEASING SYSTEMS, INC., Jay Cohen, Steven Bernardone, Rich Hahn, and Sara Krieger, Defendants. No. 101059/04.
Meanwhile, the trial court had denied class certification. Pludeman v. Northern Leasing.
After the Appellate
Division modified the trial court's order to reinstate the
claim for breach of contract for overcharges, Pludeman v. Northern Leasing,
Plaintiffs renewed their motion for class certification. The
trial court then certified the class for the claim that
Leasing breached its contract with class members. Pludeman v. Northern Leasing.
The Appellate Division
modified the class certification order to expand the class
for that claim, as requested by Plaintiffs, and rejected
Northern Leasing's appeal. Pludeman
v. Northern Leasing.
Meanwhile, the trial court granted partial summary judgment
holding Northern Leasing liable to the class for breach of
contract Pludeman v. Northern
Leasing Systems, Inc. Further, the trial
court severed the claims, granted
declaratory judgment to the Plaintiffs, and entered a
permanent injunction restraining Northern Leasing from
the remaining three pages of the lease. Pludeman v. Northern Leasing.
The Appellate Division However, the
Appellate Division reversed the grant of summary judgment, Pludeman v. Northern Leasing
Systems, Inc. Based
upon that reversal, the Court decertified the class. Pludeman v. Northern Leasing
Plaintiffs appealed the decertification, and the Appellate
Division reversed. Pludeman v. Northern Leasing
Systems, Inc. It held that while certification was
proper, an evidentiary hearing was required to resolve some
factual issues, i.e.., whether Plaintiffs received
or saw only the first page of the form lease or all four
pages, and if so, whether a reasonable person in the
position of a plaintiff would have believed that the first
page comprised the entire lease or that no significant terms
were contained on the other pages. If both these
issues were to be found, as a matter of fact, against
Plaintiffs, then the trial court would have to decide
whether the charged collected by Northern Leasing Systems,
Inc., towards "LDW" were reasonable.
The trial court decided
to try these issues in an evidentiary hearing which
commenced on May 5, 2014. The remaining claims and
issues are slated for a plenary trial at a later date.