Hinchliffe v. American Motors Corp
In Hinchliffe v. American Motors Corp., 184 Conn. 607, 440 A.2d 810 (1981), the court interpreted a Connecticut statute that allowed a cause of action by "any person who suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of the use or employment of a method, act or practice prohibited by section 42-110b . . . ." 184 Conn. at 612, 440 A.2d at 813.
The Connecticut court concluded that the words "any ascertainable loss" do not require a plaintiff to prove a specific amount of actual damages in order to make out a prima facie case. 184 Conn. at 612-613, 440 A.2d 810, 813-814.
The Supreme Court of Connecticut held that the term "ascertainable loss" did not require a plaintiff to prove a "specific amount of actual damages." Id. at 814.
The Court did not require that a claimant make a purchase to establish an ascertainable loss; it defined "ascertainable loss" in much broader terms. Hinchliffe provided that "whenever a consumer has received something other than what he bargained for, he has suffered a loss of money or property." Id., at 614.
The Court further wrote:
"Whenever a consumer has received something other than what he bargained for, he has suffered a loss of money or property. That loss is ascertainable if it is measurable even though the precise amount of the loss is not known . . . . When the product fails to measure up to reasonable expectations based on the representations made, the consumer has been injured; he has suffered a loss. He has lost the benefits of the product which he was led to believe he had purchased." Id. at 814, 440 A.2d 810