Conducting business is often like a game of tug of war. Consumers want to get the best deal for the good or service they need, and businesses want to make the greatest profit possible. This is fair for both sides—but, unfortunately, businesses do not always play fairly. Sometimes sellers make false claims about their products in order to make a sale and boost their profits.
This scenario can be disastrous for some consumers. Not only do they not receive the product they were promised, but in some cases, it can also result in more severe damages, such as liens placed on homes and other property. Fortunately, the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act allows individuals to file a claim for damages. The unfair business practices attorneys at Beth Santilli Law can help consumers make things right. Conversely, if your business is facing warrantless accusations of unfair business practices, Beth Santilli Law, LLC can zealously defend your business and your reputation.
What is the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act?
The South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act makes it actionable for any business or person to engage in:
– Unfair trade practices or acts
– Unfair competition tactics
– Deceitful practices or trade acts
In some cases when a business has violated the Unfair Trade Practices Act, it may be criminal. In most instances, however, individuals that have suffered damages as a result of an unfair trade practice file a civil lawsuit to reclaim those damages. Under the Act, the action must have been conducted during trade or commerce. The Act defines trade and commerce as advertising, selling, or distributing goods, services, or something else of value.
Injunctions and the Unfair Trade Practices Act
The Unfair Trade Practices Act allows the Attorney General to petition the court to issue an injunction against the business or individual engaging in unfair trade practices. An injunction prohibits this behavior when doing so is in the public interest. If the individual or business ignores the injunction and continues to engage in unfair business practices, they can face fines up to $15,000 for every violation.
Filing a Lawsuit Under the Unfair Trade Practices Act
More importantly for consumers, the South Carolina statute also allows individuals who have suffered damages as a result of unfair trade practices to file a lawsuit to recover their losses. Damages claimed in these lawsuits can include the cost of any damage to property, lost income, monetary damages, and any other out of pocket expenses caused by the unfair practice. In addition to filing a lawsuit to claim these damages, when the business or individual knowingly or willfully violated the act, plaintiffs can recover up to three times their actual damages, along with their attorneys’ fees and court costs.
Get Legal Help Today
No individual or business should take advantage of anyone else. If you feel as though a business has acted unfairly and you have suffered losses as a result, contact the Mt. Pleasant, SC unfair business practices attorneys at Beth Santilli Law, LLC. We know how to hold businesses accountable when they do not act in a fair and honest manner, and we will help you secure the full amount of damages you deserve. Likewise, we can defend your business against any claim that may arise. Request a consultation today.