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Judge: Apartment complex fire victims didn't prove they should be compensated under fraud act


NEWARK, New Jersey — A federal judge says residents at a New Jersey apartment complex gutted by a massive blaze last year didn't prove they should be compensated under the state's Consumer Fraud Act.

The Record newspaper reports ( ) this week's ruling is a setback in a lawsuit against developer AvalonBay.

The 240-unit Edgewater building was destroyed by the fast-moving blaze that investigators say was started by an unlicensed plumber using a torch to repair a pipe in the wall.

Judge Jose Linares ruled the plaintiffs in the case fell short of establishing a basis for a consumer fraud claim. Their lawyers have until Dec. 3 to re-plead the fraud claims.

The lawsuit also claims negligence and private nuisance. Those weren't affected by the ruling.

Lawyers in the case couldn't be reached for comment.

Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, New Jersey),

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