The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (“DTPA”) was created to protect consumers from false, misleading, and deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce. The Act defines consumers to include natural persons and businesses with less than $25 million in assets.
The DTPA is applied liberally. The definition of “false, misleading, or decptive acts” is not exclusive but some of the items included in the statute are listed below:
* Passing off goods or services as those of another
* False representation
* False disparagement of goods or services of another business
* False advertisements regarding terms and quality
* Fraud by repair persons
* False representations of pricing
* False representations of warranties
* Misrepresentations of authority
* Failure to disclose certain information in sales of goods and services
* False representation of business entity status
* Price gauging after a disaster
The above list is not exhaustive, but instead is intended to provide a general idea of what the Texas DTPA encompasses.
The DTPA is a powerful tool in Texas and the source of extensive litigation. The Act allows for the recovery of actual damages, treble damages, costs, and attorneys fees in certain circumstances.