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Understanding deceptive trade practices

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2019 | Business & Commercial Litigation

Selling goods can be a complex process, as society is compelled to purchase goods based on how well a company advertises for it. While businesses in Tennessee and elsewhere take steps to ensure their business is profitable, certain conduct could raise a red flag.

A business could be accused of deceptive trade practices, which often results in a complex and serious legal situation.

When dealing with allegations of deceptive trade practices, it is important that business understand what this means and how the law treats such acts. While Tennessee has not adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which outlines conduct that is prohibited, the state enforces the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977. This Act lists 44 different types of conduct that is deemed to unlawfully affect trade or commerce.

If a business is found to violate this Act, they could be charged as a Class B misdemeanor. Such unlawful practices include counterfeiting, being untruthful as to the geographic origins of goods or service, selling used goods and passing them off as new, promoting a sale with a false claim that the business is going out of business or providing false warranty claims.

If charged and convicted for such conduct, this could result in a jail term of up to six months and a fine of $500. A court could also grant injunctive relief and even revoke the license of the violator. Those harmed by these violations, usually consumers, could seek damages in civil court.

Navigating a business law matter can be overwhelming, as there are often many working parts. Nonetheless, business litigation may be necessary, as this not only helps to resolve the matter but could also assist with protecting the business, ensuring it remains operational and profitable.