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Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices

The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is a consumer protection law intended to protect the consuming public and legitimate business enterprises from those who engage in unfair methods of competition, or unconscionable, deceptive, or unfair acts or practices in the course of any trade or commerce. One can violate FDUPTA in one of two ways: a “traditional” violation or a “per se” violation.

 A traditional claim for damages under FDUTPA has three elements: (1) a deceptive act or unfair practice; (2) causation; and (3) actual damages. In contrast, a per se violation of FDUPTA stems from the transgression of any law, statute, rule, regulation, or ordinance which proscribes unfair methods of competition or unfair, deceptive, or unconscionable acts or practices.

Lawyer for FDUPTA Claims in Tampa, FL

If you are the victim of deceptive and unfair trade practices or someone has sued you for allegedly violating Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, the Germain Law Group can assist you in evaluating your legal options.

Michael Germain is an experienced attorney who represents clients throughout Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, and Hernando County.

Germain Law Group represents clients in civil litigation matters including fraudulent inducement, unjust enrichment, contractual disputes, and breach of fiduciary duty. Have your case reviewed during a free initial consultation when you call (813) 835-8888 or fill out an online contact form today.

Common FDUPTA Questions


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Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices

Florida courts have found that a “deceptive act or unfair practice” may exist when “there is a representation, omission, or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances.”  Florida courts have also held that an unfair practice is one that “offends established public policy and one that is immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous, or substantially injurious to consumers.”


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Recoverable Damages Under FDUPTA

FDUTPA provides for recovery of compensatory damages, i.e., that amount necessary to adequately compensate an injured party for the loss it sustained as the result of the defendant's wrongful or negligent actions.  FDUPTA also provides for the recovery of attorneys’ fees for the prevailing party.

FDUTPA does not allow for recovery of consequential, incidental, or punitive damages. Consequential damages are those which do not necessarily result from the injury complained of or which the law does not imply as the result of that injury, but do directly, naturally, and proximately result from the injury. Incidental damages are costs incurred in a reasonable effort, whether successful or not, to avoid loss.


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Individual Liability Under FDUPTA

In order to proceed against an individual under FDUTPA, you must show the individual was a direct participant in the improper dealings.


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FDUPTA Applies Outside of Consumer Transactions

Prior to July 1, 2001, FDUTPA provided that “[i}n any individual action brought by a consumer who has suffered a loss as a result of a violation of this part, such consumer may recover actual damages, plus attorney's fees and court costs.” Fla. Stat. § 501.211(2) (emphasis added).

However, FDUTPA was amended in 2001, and the amendment replaced the word “consumer” with the word “person.” The current version of FDUTPA provides that “[i]n any action brought by a person who has suffered a loss as a result of a violation of this part, such person may recover actual damages, plus attorney's fees and court costs.” Fla. Stat. § 501.211(2) (emphasis added).

Florida Courts have held that this amendment demonstrated a clear legislative intent to allow a broader base of complainants who have been injured by violations of FDUTPA to seek damages, not just injunctive relief. After the amendment, Florida courts have opined on several occasions that complaints alleging a cause of action under the statute could be sustained absent the failure to allege that the FDUTPA violation arose from a consumer transaction.


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The Germain Law Group – Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices in Tampa, Florida

If you are the victim of deceptive and unfair trade practices or someone has sued you for allegedly violating Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, the Germain Law Group can assist you in evaluating your legal options.

 Michael Germain is an experienced attorney who represents clients throughout Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, and Hernando County.  Have your case reviewed during a free initial consultation when you call (813) 835-8888 or fill out an online contact form today.


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Tampa, FL 33629
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Attorney Michael GermainMichael B. Germain is the founder of the Germain Law Group. For over a decade, Michael has been involved in litigating insurance claims and complex commercial matters.
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