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Consumers are vulnerable because they rely on manufacturers, retailers, and other parties engaged in commercial transactions to produce and sell products or provide services that safely perform as advertised.  When a product or service fails, is defective, is not as represented, and causes financial and/or physical harm to a consumer, the manufacturer/seller may be liable under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act (the DTPA).

For example, if you purchase a vehicle that is advertised and represented by the seller as new, and you later discover the vehicle was in fact used at the time of purchase, the seller violated the DTPA and you may have a legal claim against the seller and any other party who participated in the transaction. It is imperative to seek legal counsel from Austin consumer fraud lawyers for help with your claim.

The DTPA is the Texas legislature’s response to consumer vulnerability.  Under the DTPA, Section 17.44 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code “protect[s] consumers against false, misleading, and deceptive business practices, unconscionable actions, and breaches of warranty.”  The statute also provides consumers with legal remedies against individuals and/or entities who violate the DTPA.

Section 17.44 contains legal terms that are individually defined for better understanding:

  • The DTPA defines a consumer as an “individual, partnership, corporation, state, or a subdivision or agency of this state who seeks or acquires by purchase or lease, any goods or services.”
  • “False, misleading, and deceptive business practice” includes, but is not limited to, representing used goods as new, mislabeling goods (e.g. ingredients, uses, and/or benefits), and misrepresenting the condition/quality of goods or services.
  • An “unconscionable act” occurs when a commercial party unfairly exploits a consumer’s lack of knowledge or experience in a business transaction.
  • A breach of warranty arises when a manufacturer/seller misrepresents the condition of goods sold.

If you are a consumer who was deceived, exploited, or misled in a business transaction, please contact Nunis & Associates, Austin consumer fraud lawyers, to explore your legal options under the DTPA.

Bringing a Lawsuit Under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act

A consumer wishing to bring a lawsuit under the DTPA must follow legally mandated procedures prior to filing suit. Section 17.505 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code requires potential plaintiffs (parties who bring suit) to provide potential defendants (parties being sued) with written notice 60 days prior to filing suit, informing the party or parties of the consumer’s complaint and damages incurred.  During the 60-day period, the consumer/plaintiff must make the subject product available for the defendant’s inspection upon written request.

Once the 60 days has lapsed, the consumer may initiate the lawsuit by filing a Summons and Complaint, and related documents, in the court of jurisdiction, such as the county where the business transaction occurred.

The DTPA provides a prevailing consumer/plaintiff with various legal remedies, including, but not limited to, economic damages (i.e. the amount of financial harm incurred), mental distress/anguish damages, and attorneys’ fees.  Depending on the unique facts and circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to treble damages, or three times the amount of damages.

Consumers should also be aware that if they dishonestly file a lawsuit, called “bad faith,” they will be liable for the defendant’s attorneys’ fees and court costs.  Your attorney will thoroughly address and discuss with you the merits of your case.

You can be confident that our firm’s Austin consumer fraud lawyers will prosecute your DTPA suit to the fullest extent.

Contact Austin Consumer Fraud Lawyers

The Deceptive Trade Practices Act is a complex and dense area of law.  Mr. Nunis and his team of legal professionals are highly-experienced in all aspects of the DTPA.  Our firm’s Austin consumer fraud lawyers possess the requisite knowledge and skill to successfully represent you in your DTPA action and obtain the maximum damages allowed under the law.

Please contact Nunis & Associates at (512) 236-9696 to confer with one of our Austin consumer fraud lawyers regarding your potential DTPA lawsuit.

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Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act Consumer Protections

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  • Licensed to practice in Texas Courts, including all 4 Federal Districts of Texas. Primary practice in Central Texas: including Austin and Travis County, Georgetown and Williamson County, Bastrop and Bastrop County, San Marcos, Dripping Springs and Hays County.