Minnesota is one of several states the subscribes to the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA), a federal statute that was first instituted in 1964 and underwent revisions two years later. This law is backed up by Minnesota’s Antitrust Law, drafted in 1971. Both make it illegal for businesses to take part in certain illicit trade practices that are either discriminatory or otherwise unfairly restrict trade.
Examples of a number of deceptive trade practices and the respective punishments for engaging in them is listed under UDTPA’s §§325D.43-48.
Deceptive acts include such violations as changing an odometer reading to reflect reduced mileage. It can also include a manufacturer being less than forthcoming about a product’s origins or the quality of the materials used for its construction as well. A retailer or wholesaler offering services or products at below retail or conspiring to do so could be thought to have engaged in deceptive acts also.
In Minnesota, a number of different parties can bring consumer fraud lawsuits in cases like this. These include one of the state’s county attorney, the state attorney general or the actual person actually affected by the deception. Victims are generally entitled to a number of remedies if they win their case including attorney’s fees, court costs and an injunction.
The Attorney General’s Office is responsible for setting guidelines that must be followed in filing a consumer complaint.
Some instances of consumer fraud may also be punished with criminal charges instead of being resolved as well. One example of when this might occur is if an odometer has been tampered with. Under §325 E.14, this is a considered to be a gross misdemeanor in Minnesota. Those who violate this law will be required to pay $1,500 or the equivalent of triple the active damages resulting from the offense, whichever is highest.
If you suspect you’ve been defrauded by a retailer, manufacturer or someone else you’ve done business with, then a Vadnais Heights, Minnesota, consumer fraud attorney can advise you of your legal options.
Source: FindLaw, “Minnesota deceptive trade practices laws,” accessed Oct. 06, 2017