Zillow Prevails in an Unfair Business Practices Lawsuit in Federal Court
According to a report from Housing Wire, Zillow—the Seattle-based tech real-estate marketplace company—has prevailed in an unfair business practices lawsuit. A federal court determined that Zillow did not make materially deceptive changes to its “only agent” listings. Here, our Miami FDUTPA attorney provides a more comprehensive overview of the key issues in this unfair business practices case.
Federal Court: Plaintiff Failed to Prove Zillow Engaged in Unfair Business Practices
REX—a tech-based real estate company that went out of business in 2022— filed an unfair business practices lawsuit against Zillow. REX alleges that Zillow deceptively altered its agent-only listings and thereby undermining its business and, eventually, leading to its shut down its operations. Upon review, a jury in Washington State concluded that the plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence to prove that Zillow engaged in unfair business practices when it segmented its listings into a segmented two-tab design that had both agent listings and other listings.
What are Unfair Business Practices?
Broadly explained, unfair business are acts by businesses that deceive, mislead, or otherwise harm consumers or competitors. These can include false advertising, misrepresentation, deceptive pricing, monopolistic actions, and other unethical behaviors that provide an unfair advantage or harm the market’s competitive nature.
Unfair business practices not only breach trust but can also lead to legal consequences. They are prohibited by a state law called the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Business Practices Act (FDUTPA). What constitutes a deceptive or unfair business practice is a highly fact-specific matter. Plaintiffs should be prepared to present compelling evidence.
The FDUTPA Allows Consumers and Competitors to Sue for Unfair Practices
The FDUTPA serves as a protective shield for both consumers and competitors. It provides these parties a direct remedy to hold commercial actors legally responsible for damages caused by deceptive and unfair business tactics. It grants them the legal right to file lawsuits if they believe they have been subjected to or harmed by these practices. In other words, consumers and businesses do not have to wait on federal regulators or Florida regulators to take action. They can sue another private party for an unfair or deceptive business practice.
Financial Relief Can Be Sought for Actual Damages Through an FDUTPA Claim
The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) empowers individuals to seek financial relief for actual damages they have incurred due to deceptive or unfair business practices. By filing an FDUTPA claim, consumers and competitors have a right to seek compensation for the actual damages that they sustained due to unfair business practices.
Contact Our Florida FDUTPA Lawyer for Legal Guidance and Support
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida deceptive and unfair trade practices lawyers are standing by, ready to review your case and help you determine the best course of action. Do you have questions about unfair commercial practices claims under the FDUTPA? We are more than ready to help. Contact us today to arrange your confidential, no obligation case review. Our firm handles FDUTPA cases throughout South Florida, including in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and beyond.