If you need a lawyer to help you fight unscrupulous retailers, manufacturers and service providers, I will investigate and pursue your deceptive trade practices or consumer fraud claim so you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact me for a free consultation to see if you have a viable cause of action.
What is the DTPA?
The Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) was designed to protect consumers from false, misleading, or deceptive acts and practices of any trade or commerce. It protects consumers from having to pay for goods (new or used) or services of an unacceptable quality. It applies to most business transactions involving consumers. It gives you a fair chance to be heard, understood, and not ignored.
Under the DTPA, a consumer is an individual or a business that has less than $25 Million in assets.
The DTPA prohibits acts and practices that are deemed false, misleading, or deceptive that a consumer relies on to the consumer’s detriment. These acts and practices include the following categories:
- The DTPA “Laundry List” of misleading acts, which is found in the TEXAS BUSINESS AND COMMERCE CODE § 17.46(b)
- Breach of warranty – expressed or implied
- Unconscionable acts which is one takes advantage of the lack of knowledge, ability, experience, or capacity of a person to a grossly and unfair degree.
What is the DTPA “Laundry List”?
The DTPA Laundry List consists of false, misleading or deceptive acts that the law prohibits a retailer, manufacturer or service provider from doing. The list consists of a total of 31 violations. Some of the more common violations are:
- Passing off goods or services as those of another;
- Misrepresenting the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services;
- Misrepresenting the affiliation, connection, or association with, or certification by, another;
- Representing that goods are original or new when they are actually deteriorated, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand;
- Representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, when they are not;
- Representing that the goods, services, or business of another are inferior by false or misleading representation of facts;
- Advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;
- Knowingly making false or misleading statements of fact about the need for parts, replacement, or repair service;
- Representing that a guarantee or warranty confers or involves rights or remedies which it does not have or involve;
- Representing that work or services have been performed on, or parts replaced in, goods when the work or services were not performed or the parts replaced;
- The failure to disclose information concerning goods or services which was known at the time of the transaction if such failure to disclose such information was intended to induce the consumer into a transaction into which the consumer would not have entered had the information been disclosed;
Pursing a DTPA Claim
A consumer can pursue a claim against an unscrupulous retailer, manufacturer or service provider if the consumer has suffered actual damages caused by a laundry list violation, breach of warranty or unconscionable act.
Steps to pursing a DTPA claim:
- Determine if there is a viable cause of action;
- Send a demand letter to the retailer, manufacturer or service provider that notifies them of the complaint and makes a demand for damages.
- If the retailer, manufacturer or service provider does not comply within 60 days after receiving the letter, then the consumer may file a lawsuit.
If you claim turns into a lawsuit you may be entitled to the following relief:
- Economic damages
- Mental Anguish damages
- Attorney’s fees and expenses
- An Injunction
- Revocation of the seller’s license or business certificate
How long do I have to file or pursue a claim?
Generally, a DTPA claim must be filed within two (2) years of the misleading, false, or deceptive act that caused the consumer’s damages. However, if the act was concealed by fraud, a consumer may be able to pursue the claim more than two years after the misleading, false, or deceptive act occurred.
The outcome of any case depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. Call me at (210) 598-8286 or contact me online today to determine whether you have a viable cause of action. I am here to help. I serve San Antonio and surrounding areas including Boerne, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Canyon Lake, New Braunfels and the Texas Hill Country.