search site
Arbitration Battle Strategies
What is a Deceptive Trade Practice
Cars as Deceptive Trade Practice Claims
DTPA & INSURANCE COVERAGE
DTPA Primer
DTPA NOTICE LETTER
DTPA SERVICES
NEW PHONE & FAX: Phone: 512 221 0121 Fax: 512 233 2559
 
 
What is a Deceptive Trade Practice?    What is the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act?
 
This is the Consumer Law of Texas.  It should be called the Texas Consumer Rights Law, but instead, it is named the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.  
 
So who does the DTPA  apply to? 
 
Every single consumer in the state of Texas and  those that merely purchase or lease things in Texas.  Unless you have assets in the tens of millions, you are a consumer and you can use the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. 
 
What does the DTPA apply to? 
 
Anything that is bought or leased.  The Deceptive Trade Practices Act applies to all of the following and the list if infinite.
 
  • Cars, leased or purchased.
  • Homes, leased or purchased.
  • Commercial Property leased or purchased.
  • Appliances, leased or purchased
  • Household goods, leased or purchased
  • Household electronics, leased or purchased
  • Tennis shoes
  • Hats
  • Rodeo Tickets
  • Bread
  • Plants
  • Vacation Services
  • Employment Services
  • Pest Control Services
  • Carpet Cleaning Services
  • Construction Services
  • And just about any good or service you can think of except money and money services.
 What can the Deceptive Trade Practices Act do for you?
 
It can recover all of the economic damages you have that result from the merchant's or seller's deceptive trade practice.  Economic damages are going to be things like:
 
  • Costs of Repair
  • Loss of Use during repairs or due to damage
  • Diminution in Value after repairs are made
  • Difference between the price paid and the price it would have been worth if the truth were disclosed.
  • Out of Pocket Expenses
  • Interest payments
  • Taxes

Attorneys Fees

And in addition to recovering your own economic damages, the Deceptive Trade Practices Act provdes that if a Defendant commits a DTPA violation, you are entitled to recover your attorneys' fees in addition to your own damages. 

This is the real power of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act because you can sue under theories of negligence and recover the same economic damages, but you can not recover attorneys' fees.  The attorneys' fees eat into your recovery.  Not so under the DTPA. 

The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices award your attorneys' fees on a finding of a DTPA violation.  This is true even if your attorneys' fees exceed the value of your economic damages.  The Deceptive Trade Practices Act was designed this way to allow Consumers to make claims that would otherwise be too small for an attorney to become involved in. 

Knowing Violation

If a Defendant commits a violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act "knowingly", then that Defendant can be held responsible for additional damages under the DTPA.  Additional damages under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act are effectively punitive or exemplary damages.  However, they are capped at twice again the amount of economic damages awarded by the jury. 
 
Many people, including current practicing attorneys, mistakenly believe that the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act automatically awards three times the actual damages.  This was true back in the mid 1970s, but is not and has not been true for over 25 years, yet the idea that it does persists. 
 
The best way to understand the additional damages award under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act is to use an example: 
 
        If a Consumer recovers $10,000 in actual or economic damages, and a jury awarded $50,000 in
        Additional Damages, the most the Consumer could recover would be $30,000 total or the $10,000
        plus up to twice the actual damages, or in this case, another $20,000 for a total of $30,000.
 
        If the jury awarded only another $5,000 in additional damages, then the Consumer would recover
        their $10,000 in actual or economic damages and the additional damages of $5,000 for a total of
       $15,000.  The actual or ecomic damages are not automatically doubled.
 
If you have additional questions about the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act or want to know if your case is eligible, contact me at Evin@HouseDefects.com or call at 512/261-0044.
 
 

  NEW PHONE & FAX: Phone: 512 221 0121 Fax: 512 233 2559

 

 

Evin G. Dugas - Attorney at Law 512.261.0044 Evin@housedefects.com
2303 RR 620 South,   Suite 135 PMB 361,   Austin, Texas 78734
© Copyright 2017 Evin G. Dugas - Attorney at Law, All Rights Reserved SITE DESIGN AND HOSTING BY SITESTREET.COM