The Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act was enacted in 1972 by the Louisiana Legislature. It provides that “unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce” is unlawful. See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 51:1405(A).
These deceptive trade practice can take form in a myriad of ways and courts routinely emphasize that it is a factual determination made by the trier of fact on a case by case basis. For instance, the code states that if a person “misrepresents the geographical location of a business or a supplier of a service” by making a fake business name and placing in the advertising section of a telephone directory, it violates Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act. See § 51:1420(A).
Another violation of Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act is requiring a consumer’s personal information when completing a consumer transaction for a cash sale. See § 51:1421. There are several Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act violations outlined in La. R.S. § 51:1401-1428.
Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act violations are important for both businesses and consumers to fully understand. Not only is it crucial to ensure that businesses are following the laws and statutes within our state, but a violation of Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act can be destructive for a business. If a jury or judge finds that a company violated Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act, and that the deceptive or unfair conduct continued after notice of the claim was provided from the Louisiana Attorney General, then the plaintiff will be awarded treble damages.
What this means is the Plaintiff’s award is tripled. For example, if a Plaintiff is awarded $5,000, then this total will be tripled and rise to $15,000 when applying a treble damage award. These sorts of awards can get extremely high, particularly when alleged damages are already in the hundreds of thousands.
Additionally, the statutory scheme provides an independent basis for attorney fees and costs to be awarded. The Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act’s use of the word “shall” when discussing treble damages, attorney fees, and costs makes the award of those items mandatory in a circumstance where a trier of fact has found a violation of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act.
At Scott, Vicknair, Hair & Checki, we have been successful in litigating Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act claims. If you believe that a business or consumer has violated the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act and is guilty of unfair or deceptive practices, then contact our firm today.