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Tennessee’s legislature passed a wide-reaching consumer protection act in 1977. Codified as TN Code 47-18-104, this law not only makes it a misdemeanor to participate in any unfair or deceptive commercial act, but also gives people who have suffered actual harm due to the practice to initiate a civil lawsuit to recover damages.
Our firm’s attorneys work to help people to understand the protections provided by the Consumer Protection Act and to file lawsuits when necessary to recover any damages suffered as the result of a violation of the Act.
TN Code 47-18 Part 1 defines and gives meaning to Tennessee’s Consumer Protection Act. It states that there are no less than 50 examples of unfair or deceptive trade practices that may open the business owner to liability. These include:
A violation of any of these provisions is classified as a class B misdemeanor under the law and therefore places the perpetrator under criminal liability. In addition, the law provides that people who have lost money or property due to a violation have a civil cause of action.
TN Code 47-18-109 is an interesting statute in that it specifically creates a cause of action in civil court for people who have been harmed due to a violation of the Consumer Protection Act. It says that any person who has lost money, property, or any other thing of value may file a lawsuit in a court of appropriate jurisdiction for actual damages. This provision of actual damages means that if a person buys a $50 item, and that sale violated the Consumer Protection Act, they may file a lawsuit for only $50.
While this may seem like little comfort, many of these cases can involve thousands of dollars.
In addition, another proviso in the same statute allows the court to award triple damages in instances where it is found that the defendant willfully or knowingly violated the law. These damages can also include “other relief as it considers necessary and proper”.
In many cases, this includes an attorney’s fees. Tennessee has therefore provided a solid framework to not only punish violators of the law in criminal court, but also to allow people who fell victim to the scheme to pursue damages in civil court.
Our firm’s Tennessee Consumer Protection Act attorneys work with clients to analyze the business practices of companies who may be taking advantage of customers.
In situations where this is the case, we work to alert the necessary law enforcement agencies as well as to being civil court proceedings on behalf of our clients.
In many situations, a plaintiff may be awarded not just the money that they have lost due to the scheme, but also triple damages due to the defendant’s deceptive business practices. Call our firm today to see how we can help.