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What are penalties for engaging in deceptive trade practices?

If you want to see if you're getting the best price for an item, then there are plenty of price comparison tools to use to do just that. This ease of access to pricing has made competition between retailers even fiercer, leading many to make false claims or engage in misleading tactics to get an item to sell.

A food manufacturer or distributor may mislabel an item that they produce or offer up for sale and say that it doesn't contain certain ingredients when it actually does. A dealership may roll back the odometer on a vehicle so that it comes off as newer than it actually is so that it will be worth more.

Although illegal, many sellers will employ these different deceptive trade practices to try to get a consumer to buy an item that they're selling.

In Louisiana, the Louisiana Revised Statutes 51:1401, et. seq.: Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law protects consumers from being intentionally taken advantage of. False advertising is also prohibited under Louisiana Revised Statutes 51:411: Advertisements, Untrue or Misleading, Prohibited.

There are two parties who are authorized under state law to file deceptive trade practices claims. Louisiana Revised Statutes 51:1409 allows any person that has suffered a defined loss to file suit. Section 51:1404 allows for the state's attorney general to do so as well.

Section 51:1407 of this same set of codes allows individuals who are successful in filing a deceptive trade practices lawsuit to receive injunctive relief including actual and treble damages and attorney costs and fees. Additional compensation is authorized under Section 51:1408 and 51:1409 of that same set of laws.

Anyone who violates Louisiana Revised Statutes 32:726:1: Tampering with Odometers may be charged with a misdemeanor, be ordered to spend up to 90 days in prison and/or be required to pay a $500 fine.

In order for a sales tactic to be classified as deceptive, there have to be a number of different factors at play. A Lafayette business litigation attorney who has extensive experience working with corporate clients can help you understand whether you violated state law and if so, advise you what you may be able to do to make things right.

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