West Palm Beach Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices Attorney
The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is one of many consumer protection laws in the Sunshine State. The FDUTPA is intended to protect the public and businesses from entities engaging in unfair types of competition, or any deceptive, unconscionable, or unfair acts during the course of their trade or commerce. While the law seems fairly straightforward, it is extremely complex and the courts have made different decisions pertaining to certain aspects of the Act. A West Palm Beach FDUTPA attorney can help if you have been the victim of deceptive or unfair trade practices in Florida.
Defining an Unfair or Deceptive Act
Florida courts have defined unfair or deceptive acts as an omission, representation, or practice that could reasonably mislead a consumer that acted reasonably under the circumstances. According to the Florida courts, an unfair or deceptive act may also involve a practice that violates public policy due to the fact that it is unethical, immoral, unscrupulous, or oppressive and that significantly harms consumers.
Even with these definitions provided by the court, each court may view certain violations differently. This is one reason it is so important to work with an FDUTPA claim lawyer that can help prove a deceptive and unfair act.
Proving an FDUTPA Claim
Individuals and businesses can violate the FDUTPA by committing either a traditional violation, or by committing a per se violation. To prove a traditional violation, you must prove:
- A deceptive act: You must prove that an individual or business engaged in a deceptive or unfair act against you.
- Causation: You must also prove the link between the deceptive or unfair act, and the losses you suffered as a result.
- Damages: FDUTPA claims are intended to compensate victims of unfair or deceptive acts for the damages they sustained. Without damages, or losses, there is no claim.
Per se violations of the FDUTPA are typically easier to prove. When filing a claim based on a per se violation, you must only prove that a business or individual violated the law, statute, regulation, or rule that forbids unfair or deceptive acts.
Damages Under the FDUTPA
Like other types of civil claims, the FDUTPA allows victims of unfair or deceptive practices to claim damages for their losses. This compensation is intended to make the victim whole again. Unlike other civil claims, the FDUTPA does not allow for incidental, consequential, or punitive damages.
The FDUTPA and the Statute of Limitations
Like all civil claims in Florida, those involving FDUTPA violations are governed by a statute of limitations, or time limit. Under Florida law, individuals have only four years to file their claim against a business or individual engaging in unfair practices. If you do not file your claim within this period of time, you will likely forfeit your right to claim compensation.
Our Florida FDUTPA Lawyers can Help with Your Case
If you have been the victim of an unfair or deceptive act, or your business must defend against such a claim, our West Palm Beach FDUTPA lawyers are here to help. At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we know the law and what one must prove when filing a claim. We will use this knowledge to build you the strongest case possible to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today at 561-291-8298 or fill out our online form to schedule a meeting with one of our skilled attorneys.