Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cochran v. Dellfava case brief

Cochran v. Dellfava case brief summary
517 N.Y.S.2d 854 (1987)

Plaintiff sought to recover money she gave to defendant to invest in a chain distributor (pyramid) scheme, which was prohibited by N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 359-fff(1).

Plaintiff invested in a chain distributor (pyramid) scheme called "the airplane game" prohibited by N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 359-fff(1). She asked the court to get her money back after her airplane crashed.


  • The court held that plaintiff's standing to bring the lawsuit depended on whether she violated N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 359-fff(1). 
  • The court held that, by investing her money in the scheme, she promoted the game as declared illegal in the statute. 
  • Therefore, plaintiff's cause of action failed as a matter of law. 
  • It did not matter whether defendant was the more culpable party.

Plaintiff's complaint to recover money invested with defendant was dismissed.

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