Consumer Protection Law
NOTE: The Ohio
Consumer Sales Practices Act is available online. It is in Title XIII, chapter 1345.,
sections 1345.01 to 1345.13 of the Ohio Revised Code. The
Attorney General's rules at chapter 109:4 further define violations and are available online.
In addition, the Ohio Attorney General keeps a
searchable record of cases that may further identify what acts consitute violations of the CSPA
entitling the consumer to trebled damages. The Attorney General's web site also has
lemon law information.
Emotional Distress Award for Consumer Violation -- Tripled
M.T. Automotive, Inc., 111 Ohio St.3d 177, 2006-Ohio-5481, the Ohio Supreme Court
approved and then tripled non-economic (i.e., emotional distress) damages in a Consumer Sales
Practices Act case. The defendant automobile dealer had agreed to provide a truck to the
consumer at a specific monthly lease rate and had represented that a bank had approved the
lease. The consumer sold his previous vehicle and put a substantial down payment on the lease.
When the consumer came to pick up the newly leased vehicle, he was told the bank had not approved
the agreed lease payment, but had approved a substantially higher lease payment. The consumer
refused the higher payment and the dealer purported to cancel the contract. The automobile dealer
refused to refund the deposit claiming that the consumer had breached his contract. Although the
Consumer Sales Practices Act excludes personal injury claims, the Supreme Court approved awarding
emotional distress damages in addition to pecuniary damages. Furthermore, because the Consumer
Sales Practices Act triples actual damages (under certain circumstances) non-economic damages
in this case were also tripled.
UPDATE: The 126th General Assembly has ameded
RC 1345.09 effective 1/1/07 to change the result in this case. Emotional distress damages
are still recoverable, but only up to $5,000 and they will not be tripled.
Consent Judgment is Court Determination
Charvat v. Telelytic, LLC, 2006-Ohio-4623, the Franklin County Court of Appeals held that a
nonprofit credit counseling compnay's unsolicited telephone call violated the Ohio Consumer Sales
Practices Act, because a consent judgment had previously found that violations of the federal
Telephone Consumer Protection Act to also be violation of the Consumer Sales Practices Act.
An act found in a consent judgment to be a violation that will subject a violator to liablity
triple damages under RC 1345.09(B).
Ucker & Hemmer LLC represents small and large businesses in the Columbus, Worthington and
all over Ohio.
David W. T. Carroll and Timothy J. Ucker handle business representation.
Nonprofit & Charitable Solicitation Law
Workers' Compensation Law