FDUTPA Claims: How Are “Consequential Damages” Defined Under Florida Law?
The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is a state law that allows parties to seek compensation for damages caused by the improper commercial practices of a business, such as false advertising, material misrepresentations, or a bait-and-switch tactic. The FDUTPA allows consumers and businesses to recover compensation for actual losses.
Consequential damages are not recoverable under the FDUTPA. This raises an important question: How are consequential damages defined in Florida?. In this article, our West Palm Beach deceptive trade practices lawyers answer the question by highlighting the key things you should know about how consequential damages are defined under Florida law.
Florida Law: Consequential Damages are Not Recoverable in an FDUTPA Claim
As a starting point, it is important to emphasize that Florida law prevents the recovery of consequential damages in an FDUTPA claim. The standard is well-established by the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida in the case of Fort Lauderdale Lincoln v. Corgnati. In the legal dispute, a consumer filed an FDUTPA claim against a car dealership for alleged odometer violations. A court determined that the consumer was entitled to actual damages.
The consumer also sought consequential damages. The court emphasized that Florida law does not allow for the recovery of consequential damages in an FDUTPA claim. A plaintiff’s compensation must be limited to the difference between the market value in what they were promised and what they actually received. Other indirect damages are not recoverable in Florida.
Understanding how Consequential Damages are Defined in Florida
Consequential damages are a type of damages that may be awarded in a legal case. In Florida, consequential damages are defined as those damages that arise as a result of a breach of contract, but are not a direct result of the breach. In other words, consequential damages are a form of indirect damages. They can be linked to the cause of action, but not in a direct manner.
For example, if a business breaches a contract with a supplier. As a result, that supplier suffers lost profits because they are forced to delay a project. Those lost profits are a form of consequential damages. They are indirectly linked to the breach of contract.
Florida law recognizes two types of consequential damages: 1) Direct consequential damages and 2) remote consequential damages. In some cases, consequential damages may be recoverable. Indeed, you may be able to pursue consequential damages through a breach of contract claim. However, as noted previously, they cannot be recovered in an FDUTPA claim in Florida.
Contact Our West Palm Beach Deceptive Trade Practices Attorney Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida deceptive and unfair trade practice attorneys are diligent and effective advocates for clients. If you have any specific questions about the damages that can be recovered through an FDUTPA claim, we are here as a legal resource that you can trust. From our West Palm Beach law office, we serve communities throughout Palm Beach County.