Imagine this: you buy a product that’s supposed to help you solve some sort of problem, whether it be to treat dry skin or to repaint your house, and the product ends up being defective. But not just defective: the label flat out lied to you. It said it would do one thing, but the creators specifically knew it didn’t work or would cause another issue. This is what is known as deception, and most businesses within the United States can be held accountable for this.
At the Quiñonez Law Firm, we can help you if you have been deceived by a brand, label, or advertisement and have suffered consequences. We believe that consumers shouldn’t be left to deal with inadequate or misleading advertising without fighting back with legal action.
Call (915) 533-0009 today to speak with an El Paso deceptive trade practices attorney.
What is the Deceptive Trade Practices Act?
The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) is the primary tool of both private lawyers and the Office of the Attorney General to protect consumers against false, deceptive, or misleading business practices. It has undergone numerous changes since the 1970s but remains a strong defense against certain sales practices.
The DTPA can apply to a variety of exchanges, including the purchasing of goods or the signing of a lease. Issues that fall under the act can range from mild, such as hosting a “going out of business sale” without actually going out of business, to serious, like selling paint and claiming it to be lead-free when it actually does contain lead.
The act was put in place to protect consumers from faulty or hazardous business practices, breaches of warranty, misleading advertisements, and warning or ingredient labels, among other things. Businesses that deceive you, take advantage of you, or sell you faulty products are held accountable for their actions through the DTPA.
If you feel a business misled you with a product, we can help with your next steps. Simply give our El Paso product liability attorney a call at (915) 533-0009 to begin building your case!
What Exactly Does The DTPA Cover?
As stated above, the DTPA is quite broad and can cover various business practices and situations. The Texas DTPA can be broadly separated into three main categories:
Unconscionable acts may seem like a dramatic name, but it simply refers to actions that make a transaction one-sided in some way. Specifically, unconscionable acts are defined as acts that “take advantage of the lack of knowledge, ability, experience, or capacity of a person to a grossly unfair degree.”
An example of this could be exploiting a language barrier to grossly overcharge someone or overpromising a product’s benefits because the consumer is unfamiliar with the service or good.
Breach of Warranty
Breach of warranty refers to any warranty, guarantees, or other promises associated with the function of a service or product. When businesses make these claims, they must follow through; otherwise, they mislead the consumer.
For example, a car company refusing to honor a valid warranty for their vehicle could be held liable under the DPTA.
False, Misleading, Or Deceptive Acts
The last broad category of the DTPA covers any actions that mislead or deceive consumers about the nature of a product. This is to defend against businesses lying to consumers to secure a sale, only for the product to be different upon purchase and use.
A common example that falls in this category would be false product labeling. For instance, a bag of chips labeled as containing only 30 calories but actually containing 300 calories would be banned by the DTPA.
With these different categories, you can expect the DTPA to cover the following cases:
- Refusal to fulfill warranty/guarantee
- Advertising goods or services with the intent not to sell them as advertised
- Selling used products as new
- Taking advantage of language barriers/deficiencies
- Misleading consumers about needed repairs
- Charging egregious prices for a good or service following an emergency, catastrophe, etc
- Exaggerating the benefits of a service or good to consumers
- Making erroneous claims about a competing company/product
- Using misleading or false advertisements
- Making false claims about sales prices
The above does not represent all circumstances where the DTPA may come into play, but these are some of the most common reasons that the DTPA may be evoked in court.
Have more questions about the DTPA and how we can use it in your liability case? We’d love to help. Give our El Paso deceptive trade practices lawyer a call at (915) 533-0009 to receive more information!
How To File A Liability Claim In El Paso
There are certain steps you must take to file a claim. First, you must send a certified letter notifying the business about what is wrong and giving them the amount for the damages. If they do not respond within 60 days, you may proceed to step two.
During step two, you may file a suit for your claims. If you do file a suit, you should ask for all the damages that happened as a result of the deception. We can go through the possible list of remedies with you to ensure you are asking for the right ones.
El Paso Deceptive Trade Practices FAQ
How long do I have to file a DTPA suit in El Paso? – According to Texas law, you must file a DTPA lawsuit within two years after the date of the misleading, false, or deceptive practice or act. However, it is typically best to file as soon as possible.
What happens if I win my El Paso product liability case? – According to the Office of the Attorney General, winning a DTPA suit could result in the plaintiff recovering up to three times their damages.
What information do I need for my DTPA case? – When filing a DTPA suit, it’s best to record as much as possible about the interaction. Copies of false advertising, documentation of the actual product or service you received, evidence a good was not new upon sale, and other information is crucial to a successful case. Any and all relevant information to the case should be shared with your legal team.
How Quiñonez Protects You
If you have an issue with a defective product, you may feel it is trivial or not a big enough deal for legal action. But we assure you that it is not trivial to push back against fraudulent sales or manufacturing tactics. Not only could you receive compensation from the case, but you could also help others who may be deceived by a company or product.
Whether it is a product that has been falsely or purposely mislabeled or a business that goes back on its agreed warranty, we have you covered. We understand that not only are these issues costly, but they can also be damaging to your health and well-being. If you need an El Paso product liability lawyer to help you build a case, we’re here to help.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!