In our last post, we spoke about ongoing litigation against State Farm Insurance for allegedly engaging in unfair trade practices, specifically for leading customers to choose preferred repair shops and for low-balling repair estimates. The issue of deceptive or unfair trade practices is important one for businesses, since allegations of wrongdoing can result in liabilities that drain a company’s resources and damage a business’ reputation.
In order to protect consumers, Louisiana has adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which it calls the Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The law is generally aimed at ensuring that consumers are protected from “unfair methods of competition” and “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in trade and commerce. What this means in practice is not always clear for businesses.
It is up to the attorney general to make rule and regulations regarding the interpretation of the provisions of the law, and the attorney general is required to adopt rules and regulations in accordance with the procedure set forth in the statute.
It is important for businesses to be aware of these rules so they can protect themselves from liability, navigate investigations by the attorney general and, when necessary, defend themselves in court from improper applications of the law.
The Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act is not easy to navigate, and businesses should always work with an experienced attorney when coming up with a plan of action for protection from liability. When allegations of unfair business practices do arise, having an advocate ensures that a business’ interests receive the protection they deserve.