Most states have enacted unfair trade practices statutes which are known as little FTC acts since they are derived from the Federal Trade Commission Act which was originally enacted in 1914 when Congress declared unfair methods of competition unlawful.
Louisiana’s Unfair Trade Practices Act (LUTPA) was enacted in 1972. LA. R.S. 51:1401-18. The pertinent language is “unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful.” The Act is extremely broad and can potentially reach all aspects of commercial relationships.
If you believe you have been the victim of an unfair trade practice,
call Lamothe Law Firm at 504-704-1414 for a free consultation.
New Orleans CityBusiness Leadership in Law winner based on professional & community involvement and achievements – 2014 and 2015, Frank Lamothe.
Frank Lamothe is an unfair trade practice lawyer. He wrote a paper entitled “Unfair Trade Practices in Louisiana” and has lectured at law seminars on unfair trade practices. Mr. Lamothe is highly recognized as a skilled business trial attorney. He has received the top listing in the 2007-2014 editions of Louisiana Super Lawyers for business litigation, an honor limited to no more than 5 percent of all attorneys in the state, and was also given a select listing in the Corporate Counsel Edition of Super Lawyers 2010 for business litigation.
Who Can Bring a Claim for Unfair Trade Practices
Under Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (LUTPA), who can sue is no longer limited to consumers and business competitors but is available to any person who can show any ascertainable loss of money or movable property as the result of another’s use of unfair trade practices.
Claims brought under unfair trade practice statutes offers an expanded opportunity for a flexible cause of action which in many states offer more opportunities than many traditional remedies. They should always be considered whenever there is the opportunity to pursue a claim where damage has resulted from a transaction.
Possible plaintiffs can include:
- Individuals injured in a covered transaction
- Governmental entities
Proving a Claim Under an Unfair Trade Practice Act
Proof of a claim under an unfair trade practices Act is generally easier than proving all the elements of common law fraud or deception. The language in any of the statute is amorphous, thus allowing the creating of standards which are not as stringent as those developed in case law or codified in other state statutes.
Benefits of bringing an unfair trade practices claim can include:
- Actual deception not necessary
- Reliance on statement may not be necessary
- Knowledge is unnecessary
- Statute of frauds, parole evidence rules do not apply
Types of Claims Under Unfair Trade Practices Statutes
You can couple or join claims under these statutes with other types of claims. In any transaction-related litigation, an unfair trade practice attorney will always consider whether you can also make claims under your state’s Unfair Trade Practices Statute where you have been the victim of a deceptive act or practice.
- Tortious interference with contract. Wrongful seizure
- Wrongful debt collections
- Breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation
- Deceptive sales practices
- Car sales – Lemon Laws
- Trade secrets