In our last post, we began speaking about the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (LUTPA), and some of the criticisms that have been made regarding expansions of the law, including that the law as it currently stands has resulted in harm to both businesses and consumers.
Critics of the law have made several suggestions in terms of reforming the law. These include establishing stricter requirements regarding consumers who are able to show actual harm from unfair trade practices, limited damages to actual out-of-pocket costs resulting from such practices, and adding a requirement that a plaintiff be able to show detrimental reliance. Such suggestions, it is hoped, would curb the number of new cases filed under LUTPA.
When a business is accused of violating the LUTPA, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office will become involved and investigate the complaint. Navigating a LUTPA investigation properly is important not only to ensure cooperation with authorities, but also to protect the rights of a business, such as protecting against public disclosure of trade secrets and privileged or confidential commercial or financial information, recognition of applicable exemptions, and appropriate application of penalties under the law, if penalties are warranted.
For businesses, of course, it is critical to establish sound policies and procedures which ensure compliance with the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act. Likewise, it is important for businesses to have a clear understanding of all laws and regulations that govern and their industry and day-to-day business operations, both to manage business liabilities, but also to ensure the good reputation of the business. Working with an experienced business law attorney can help ensure a business is in compliance with the law and set up for success.