How Does General Business Law 349 Intend to Protect Consumers ?
General Business Law 349 - which entitles consumers to, inter alia, treble damages and attorney's fees - prohibits deceptive acts or practices in - utilizing the same term as is utilized in CPLR Rule 3015[e] - "the conduct of any business...."
In Oswego Laborers' Local 214 Pension Fund v. Marine Midland Bank, N.A., 85 N.Y.2d 20, 25, 623 N.Y.S.2d 529, 647 N.E.2d 741 (1995), the Court of Appeals observed that GBL 349 was intended to protect consumers and therefore must charge conduct of the defendant that is consumer-oriented.
The Court determined that "while consumer oriented conduct does not require a repetition or pattern of deceptive behavior.... or recurring conduct," it does exclude "single shot transactions" which are not typical consumer transactions. Accord, Teller v. Bill Hayes, Ltd., 213 A.D.2d 141, 630 N.Y.S.2d 769 (2nd Dep't 1995), lv. to app. dsmsd. In part, den'd, 87 N.Y.2d 937 (1996). Cf. People by Koppell v. Empyre Inground Pools Inc., 227 A.D.2d 731, 642 N.Y.S.2d 344 (3rd Dep't 1996).
Because this exception is limited to transactions which are not only "single-shot," but, additionally, atypical of "consumer transactions," a transaction to fall within this exception must be distinguished from a consumer transaction by its size and scope.
As held by the Second Department in Teller, supra, 213 A.D.2d at 148, the exclusion is of "large scale single-shot transactions," such as, in Genesco Entertainment v. Koch, 593 F. Supp. 743, 751-752 (S.D.N.Y. 1984), the one day rental of Shea Stadium for a country and western concert.