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Harmed by false, misleading or deceptive business practices?

If you as a consumer or your business has been harmed by a breach of warranty or any false, misleading or deceptive business practice, Texas law may offer you recourse.

The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act (DTPA) allows consumers, including business consumers, to sue to recover damages in these situations. In some cases, you can get three times your actual damages.

The first step, which is required, is to send a registered or certified letter notifying the company what is wrong and asking it to reimburse you for your damages. Then, if the company doesn’t cover your damages within 60 days of receiving your letter, you can file suit.

What remedies are available?

If you have suffered from a company’s practices, you should request for all damages to be covered. Under the DTPA, these can include:

  • Economic damages
  • Mental anguish damages
  • Court costs and attorney’s fees
  • Interest
  • Additional damages of up to three times your actual damages in cases where the business acted knowingly or intentionally

You may also be able to get these remedies:

  • An injunction to stop the practice
  • A restoration order
  • The appointment of a receiver
  • Revocation of the company’s license or business certificate
  • Any other relief the court deems proper

What types of business practices are covered?

Any false, misleading or deceptive act can result in liability for the business that perpetrated it. In order to file suit, you must have relied on the business’s falsehoods, misleading claims or deceptive acts to your detriment.

Here are some examples of actions that could lead to liability:

  • Passing off goods or services as those of another party
  • Making false representations that a product is endorsed by a celebrity
  • Misleading the consumer as to the newness of reconditioned or secondhand goods
  • Making false or misleading statements about the origin or quality of goods
  • Misleading the consumer about when parts will need replacement
  • Making a false warranty
  • Disparaging other goods and services using false or misleading language
  • Resetting the odometer of a car
  • Fraudulently representing that the company is going out of business
  • Promoting a pyramid scheme
  • Failing to disclose information when it was known it would affect the consumer’s decision
  • Misrepresenting that the company is a corporation
  • Taking advantage of a disaster by demanding exorbitant prices for food, fuel, medicine or other necessities

This is not a complete list. There are many more examples of false, misleading or deceptive acts or policies that could result in liability under the DTPA.

If you have suffered a loss because you relied on a company’s false, misleading or deceptive statements, contact a business lawyer right away to discuss your rights and options.