x Consumer Law and Policy Blog reports: In a closely watched case, the California Supreme Court on Thursday issued a decision preserving the broad availability of the state's principal consumer protection laws in cases involving mislabeled goods.The question at issue in Kwikset v. Superior Court (Benson) was whether a consumer who has bought a product that was mislabeled — a "union-made" shirt that was in fact manufactured in a sweatshop, "organic" produce that was grown with pesticides, or (as in this case) a "Made in the USA" lockset that had actually been partly manufactured in Taiwan and Mexico — may bring suit under the Unfair Competition Law (UCL) and the False Advertising Law (FAL). Proposition 64, passed by referendum in 2004, inserted in both laws a requirement that a private plaintiff have "lost money or property." But what if the product the customer received was perfectly functional even if it wasn't what the customer had ordered? Was there still a loss of money or property? The Court of Appeal thought not: since the item received was of equal value, plaintiffs had not "lost money" and therefore could not bring a claim under the UCL or FAL. The California Supreme Court, however, disagreed. The Supreme Court held that neither the language nor the logic of Prop 64 precluded suits by consumers who did not get what they paid for. "Plaintiffs who can truthfully allege they were deceived by a product's label into spending money to purchase the product, and would not have purchased it otherwise, have 'lost money or property' within the meaning of Proposition 64 and have standing to sue." It doesn't matter that to some other people, or by some objective measure, the mislabeled product is worth as much as the one the consumer expected. What matters is the consumer's subjective valuation. The Court recognized (and held that the UCL and FAL recognize) the reality of consumer decisionmaking, including the importance some consumers place on knowing the process by which products are made. "Simply stated: labels matter. The marketing industry is based on the premise that labels matter, that consumers will choose one product over another similar product based on its label and various tangible and intangible qualities they may come to associate with a particular source." The Court then went further and formally disapproved three court of appeal cases that had held that restitution must be available in any UCL or FAL case brought by a private party. Injunctive relief, the Court held, is the primary relief contemplated by those laws, and nothing in Prop 64 changed that. In sum, instead of a court of appeal opinion further restricting the type and number of cases that can be brought under California's consumer protection laws, we now have a Supreme Court opinion that preserves and even expands the laws' scope. To illustrate its conclusions, the Court relied heavily on sources, examples (e.g., Rolex watches, halal meat, "conflict diamonds," the lack of a secondary market in perishable goods), and analysis drawn from an amicus brief written by Public Good and filed on behalf of nine consumer groups, including Public Citizen. (The brief is available here.) You can read the full California Supreme Court decision by clicking here. Our lawyers have achieved consumer victories in class actions lwhere consumers who had suffered small injuries received full refunds. In a case against Hilton for including a non-tax charge in the tax line item, we won at trial and each consumer victim who could be located received a check for 98% of their damages with all attorneys fees and court costs paid by Hilton as required by the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Our Oak Brook, Illinois consumer rights private law firm handles individual and class action predatory lending, unfair debt collection, lemon law and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totalling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. The Chicago consumer rights attorneys at DiTommaso-Lubin are proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers' rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices. Our Highland Park and Schaumburg consumer attorneys provide assistance in fair debt collection, consumer fraud and consumer rights cases including in Illinois and throughout the country. You can click here to see a description of the some of the many individual and class-action consumer cases our Chicago consumer lawyers have handled. A video of our lawsuit which helped ensure more fan friendly security at Wrigley Field can be found here. You can contact one of our Waukegan consumer protection attorneys who can assist in consumer fraud, consumer rip-off, lemon law, unfair debt collection, predatory lending, wage claims, unpaid overtime and other consumer, or consumer class action cases by filling out the contact form at the side of this blog or by clicking here.
Read more detail on Recent Business Law Posts –Legal notice about the Consumer Law and Policy Blog Reports on New California Supreme Court Opinion Affirming Consumer's Right to Sue for False Advertising Claims rubric : Hukuki Net Legal News is not responsible for the privacy statements or other content from Web sites outside of the Hukuki.net site. Please refer the progenitor link to check the legal entity of this resource hereinabove.
Do you need High Quality Legal documents or forms related to Consumer Law and Policy Blog Reports on New California Supreme Court Opinion Affirming Consumer's Right to Sue for False Advertising Claims?