Garcia | Marsalli, LLP believes in the rights of consumers to be treated fairly in their business transactions. In the quest for profits, businesses sometimes cross the line: engaging in false or misleading advertising, bait-and-switch tactics, charging unconscionable or hidden fees, and other unfair or deceptive practices. This type of corporate behavior harms both individual consumers and other businesses who compete ethically in the marketplace.

The law provides a variety of protections against unethical business behavior. For example, California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (Ca. Civil Code section 1750 et seq.) prohibits a wide variety deceptive business activities, ranging from misrepresentations about allegedly needed repairs (e.g., a car mechanic claiming you need all new brakes, not just new brake pads) to false claims that a product was “Made in America” or has specific qualities which are not true (e.g. a product which makes unsubstantiated scientific claims that you will lose 10 lbs. in a week or that it will remove wrinkles within 30 days). California’s Unfair Competition Law (Ca. Business & Professions Code section 17200 et seq.) also prohibits many of these activities, and it is often asserted concurrently with a CLRA claim. Establishing a false advertising claim under the UCL requires more than false or misleading text: since the passage of Proposition 64, a Plaintiff must show that they were actually mislead and suffered an injury as a result.

Cases of this nature are often brought to the court as a “class action.” It rarely makes financial sense for one person who suffers a small financial loss from these types of unfair business practices to pursue a large business in court. This reality encourages bad corporate actors to take advantage. The class action tool seeks to level the playing field. It allows individuals with similar claims and damages to pursue a defendant together, in one group lawsuit. Please see our further discussion about Class Actions here.

Pursuing a big company when you have been defrauded can be daunting on your own. If you believe you have been defrauded, mislead or harmed by the actions of any business, we invite you to contact us for a no-cost consultation.