Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, 73 P.S. § 201-1 et seq. (“UTPCPL”) is Pennsylvania’s consumer protection law. It seeks to prevent “[un]fair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce….” Id. § 201–3. Its aim is to protect the public from unfair or deceptive business practices.
The UTPCPL provides a private right of action for anyone who “suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property” because of an unlawful method, act or practice. See id. § 201–9.2(a). Upon a finding of liability, the court has the discretion to award “up to three times the actual damages sustained” and provide any additional relief the court deems proper. Id. There are 20 enumerated practices which constitute actionable “unfair methods of competition” or “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” Id. § 201–2(4)(i)–(xx). The UTPCPL also contains a catchall provision which refers to “[e]ngaging in any other fraudulent or deceptive conduct which creates a likelihood of confusion of or misunderstanding.” Id. § 201–2(4)(xxi).
In order to establish a private right of action under the UTPCPL, a plaintiff must demonstrate that he/she detrimentally relied upon the deceptive practice of the defendant and that the plaintiff suffered harm as a result of this reliance. Toy v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 863 A.2d 1, 9 (Pa. Super. 2004). It is the plaintiff’s burden to demonstrate the level of reliance that normally accompanies a common law fraud claim. This means a plaintiff must show not just reliance on the misrepresentation, but also that the reliance was justifiable. Id. at 11.
Philadelphia Consumer Protection Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Represent Consumers in Claims for Fraud and Unfair Trade Practices
If you have been defrauded or subject to an unfair or deceptive business practice, you may have a valid claim under the UTPCPL, among other potential causes of action. Philadelphia consumer fraud lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green will seek maximum compensation for your damages. To learn more about how we may be able to help you, call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online today.