Atlanta Business Lawyer Aggressively Protecting the Rights of Georgia Consumers and Businesses
Georgia’s Fair Business Practices Act (FBPA) may be one of the most comprehensive laws protecting Georgia consumers. Unfortunately, the statute is often entirely underutilized and is generally not well understood by most people. Our Atlanta FBPA attorney can help you to address these matters with experience and skill. If you have been a victim of a business’s deceptive unfair act or practice, then our Atlanta FBPA lawyer is ready to assist you. Call us today at (404) 635-6883 to schedule your free case evaluation!
What Is Georgia’s Fair Business Practices Act?
The FBPA (O.C.G.A. § 10-1-390) protects consumers and businesses from unfair or deceptive practices during any trade or commerce.
The FBPA covers:
Career consulting firms
Advertising of 976 phone numbers
Long-term care facilities
Personal care homes
Home health services
Sale of frame-damaged automobiles
Misuse of credit card information by merchants
Under the Statute, What is a Deceptive Trade Practice?
causes confusion or misunderstanding as to the nature of goods or services;
Causes confusion or misunderstanding as to the affiliation, connection, or association;
Represents that goods are original or new when they are not;
Advertising for the sale of goods or services with no intent to sell the product as promoted;
Promotes goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand; or
Engaging in any other business conduct that may cause confusion or misunderstanding.
One interesting aspect of the Fair Business Practices Act is that a plaintiff does not have to prove competition between the parties or actual confusion or misunderstanding to prevail in an action.
Penalties for Violating the FBPA?
If a business or person violates the Fair Business Practices Act, the victim can take civil action against the violator. The victim may be entitled to equitable injunctive relief, general damages sustained due to the violation, and attorney’s fees.
If it is determined that the violation of the FBPA was intentional, a court will award three times actual damages. O.C.G.A. § 10-1-399
Increased Damages for Fair Business Practices Act Violations Against the Elderly
If a person or company is determined to have conducted business in violation of the FBPA and is found to have committed the violation against the elderly or disabled persons, the court may impose an additional civil penalty up to $10,000.00 for each violation. O.C.G.A § 10-1-851.
The statute defines an “Elder person” as a person who is 60 years of age or older. O.C.GA. § 10-1-850 (2).
When making its determination whether to impose a civil penalty and the amount thereof, the court will look at the extent to which one or more of the following factors are present:
If the defendant’s conduct was in disregard of the rights of the elder or disabled persons;
If the defendant knew that the defendant’s conduct was directed to an elder person or disabled person;
If the elder or disabled person was more vulnerable to the defendant’s conduct because of age, poor health, infirmity, impaired understanding, restricted mobility, or disability than other persons and whether the elder or disabled person suffered substantial physical, emotional, or economic damage resulting from the defendant’s conduct;
If the defendant’s conduct caused an elder or disabled person to suffer mental or emotional distress; lose funds received under a pension or retirement plan.
We serve clients across Georgia, including, but not limited to, clients in the following locations: Fulton County including Atlanta, Milton, Roswell, and Sandy Springs; Bibb County including Macon; Carroll County including Carrollton; Cobb County including Kennesaw, Marietta, and Smyrna; Coweta County including Newnan; DeKalb County including Brookhaven, Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody, and Stone Mountain; Douglas County including Douglasville; Floyd County including Rome; Gwinnett County including Duluth; Habersham County including Cornelia; and Hall County including Gainesville, Cherokee County, Henry County, Forsyth County, and Paulding County.