Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA)

The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act or DTPA is one of the most important consumer statutes. This statute developed out of the Texas legislature recognizing that consumers need to be protected from fraudulent business practices. The law encourages victims of dishonest companies to file lawsuits which serve to incentivize businesses to act fairly and honestly.

The primary goal of the DTPA is to protect consumers against false, misleading, or deceptive business practices. It applies to a broad range of transactions including the sale of goods (both new and used) and services. In this context "goods" also include real property such as homes.

In order to sue under the DTPA, several elements must be met. The elements of a DTPA action include that the plaintiff must be a consumer, the defendant must have committed one of the proscribed acts under the DTPA, and the defendant's actions must have been the producing cause of the plaintiff's harm.

In layman's terms, what this means is that the person suing must have either purchased or leased a good or service and the defendant must have engaged in some sort of false, misleading or deceptive business practices in relation to that good or service.

The proscribed actions under the DTPA include any of the following:

  1. A "laundry list" violation;
  2. Breach of an expressed or implied warranty;
  3. An unconscionable action; or
  4. Violations of the Texas Insurance Code.

Some of the most common laundry list violations include:

  1. Representing that goods or services have characteristics which they do not;
  2. Representing that goods or services are of a particular quality which they do not;
  3. Representing that an agreement confers or involves legal rights, remedies, or obligations which it does not have or involve, or which are prohibited by law; and
  4. Failing to disclose information concerning goods or services which was known at the time of the transaction if such failure to disclose such information was intended to induce the consumer into a transaction into which the consumer would not have entered had the information been disclosed.

At Reich & Binstock, our knowledgeable lawyers can help you understand the specific requirements stipulated by the DTPA. If you believe you may have a DTPA case, contact our lawyers for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call 713-352-7883 or 877-643-3099 toll free or complete the contact form on this website.

The DTPA: What does it mean to be a "Consumer?"