The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA) seeks to protect consumers from unconscionable actions; false, misleading, and deceptive business practices; and breaches of warranty. The Act, codified in Chapter 17 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code, defines “consumer” as one who seeks or acquires services or goods via purchase or lease, including individuals and certain types of partnerships and corporations.
The DTPA Prohibits Deceptive Trade Practices
The DTPA prohibits a long list of trade practices deemed to be false, misleading, or deceptive, including:
- Passing off services or goods as those of another;
- Using deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods and services;
- Representing, explicitly or implicitly, that goods or services have qualities which they do not have;
- Representing that deteriorated, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or second-hand goods are original or new;
- Falsely representing that goods or services are of a particular quality, standard, or grade;
- Falsely representing that goods are of a particular style or model;
- Falsely representing facts to disparage the goods, services, or business of another;
- Advertising goods or services with the intent to sell them in a manner other than as advertised;
- Advertising goods or services with the intent not to supply a reasonably foreseeable public demand for the same;
- Failing to advertise goods or services as being of a limited quantity when those goods or services are of a limited quantity;
- Making misleading or false statements about the reasons for, existence of, or amount of price reductions;
- Misrepresenting the authority of a representative, salesman, or agent to negotiate the final terms of a business transaction; and
- Turning back, disconnecting, or resetting the odometer of a motor vehicle in order to reduce the number of miles indicated on the odometer.
Damages under the DTPA
The DTPA gives consumers the right to sue for damages. If successful, consumers may recover economic damages and attorney’s fees. And if a defendant’s conduct was committed knowingly, a DTPA plaintiff may recover damages for mental anguish and up to three times the amount of economic damages.
Texas Legal Representation
Ajamie LLP has successfully represented both individuals and corporations in DTPA actions. Our firm also advises clients in matters involving the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Investment Advisors Act of 1940, and other state and federal laws. Our experienced Texas litigation and financial-fraud attorneys also routinely deal with regulatory authorities and organizations, such as the Securities Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Please contact us for a consultation.