Enacted in 1970, the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) was designed with the purpose "to protect consumers against unfair and deceptive business practices and to provide efficient and economical procedures to secure such protection." As the title and purpose suggest, this is an incredibly powerful tool that protects consumers and makes it unlawful for a business to make misrepresentations that result in a consumer purchasing a good or service.
What Does the CLRA Cover?
Virtually any misrepresentation by a business is covered, including bait-and-switch, fake goods, fake price reductions, solicitation, false advertisement, and more. There are twenty-three listed misrepresentations that have been deemed to be unlawful, including:
· Misrepresenting the affiliation, connection, or association with, or certification by, another.
· Representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities which they do not have or that a person has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection which he or she does not have.
· Representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another.
· Advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised.
· Representing that the subject of a transaction has been supplied in accordance with a previous representation when it has not.
In order to prevail on a misrepresentation claim under the CLRA, a consumer must show "reliance" on the misrepresentation. In other words, that they relied on the misrepresentation in purchasing the good or service in dispute. If successful, a consumer may be entitled to an award of damages, including some combination of injunctive relief, actual damages, restitution, and punitive damages. Significantly, the CLRA allows for consumers to recoup attorneys fees if they prevail at trial, meaning that big companies cannot use their resources and legal teams to run up legal expenses and drain the consumer before the case even gets to trial. In addition, consumers will only be responsible for paying the attorneys fees for the business if it is shown that the lawsuit was not filed in good faith.
How does this apply to DeVry's actions? False advertisement. The CLRA is just one of several laws that DeVry may have broken in California. If you have been a student of DeVry in the last five years, the experienced attorneys at Moss Bollinger help you determine if you have a claim against DeVry. We will use our knowledge to navigate the applicable consumer protection laws to get you the relief that you are entitled to. Call us today at 800-249-1175 for a free consultation or reach us online.