Knoxville Consumer Protection Lawyers

HAVE YOU BEEN TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF BY A BUSINESS’S UNFAIR AND DECEPTIVE PRACTICE, A CAR DEALERSHIP, OR A REAL ESTATE AGENT? NOW WHAT?

There can be nothing more frustrating than buying a car from a used car dealership, getting your car repaired by a mechanic or purchasing a residence to be surprised by misrepresentations or significant facts being hidden from you that would have made a difference in your decision to enter into the contract in the first place. The Tennessee Consumer Protection Act was created for the very purpose of ensuring that consumers are protected from unfair and deceptive practices by business owners during sales talk to get you to enter into a contract with them.

Unfortunately, however, businesses and individuals engage in such unfair and deceptive practices far too often leaving consumers feeling lost, hopeless, and at a financial deficit.

Fortunately, the attorneys at Barnes Law understand how to deal with these businesses. We know how to negotiate with them to attempt to get you the relief that you want before having to file a lawsuit and make the complaint public record. Of course, if that does not work, our attorneys will file a complaint in either Tennessee’s general sessions or circuit court depending on which option works better for your needs and your specific case.

Whenever we take a Tennessee Consumer Protection Act case, we always investigate the case fully and discuss any other potential contract claim that may be available to us such as an intentional or negligent misrepresentation claim, or a fraudulent concealment claim, which are the most common claims that are usually the basis for the TCPA deceptive or unfair act.

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MY CONTRACT HAD A DISCLAIMER OF ALL WARRANTIES, DOES THAT MEAN THAT I AM OUT OF LUCK?

No, businesses cannot avoid liability for their unfair or deceptive acts that harm you, the consumer, by disclaiming contractual warranties because doing so would contravene the intent of the Consumer Protection Act. Courts in Tennessee have ruled in favor of consumers in many cases despite the consumer signing a contract that disclaimed contractual warranties. Although the disclaimer will generally be effective to limit liability, it cannot be used to defeat a separate cause of action for an unfair or deceptive act.

Additionally, under Tennessee statutory law, which was enacted by Tennessee’s legislative branch, businesses have an obligation, that cannot be disclaimed, to act in good faith in the performance or enforcement of every contract that they enter into. In short, courts will not enforce a warranty disclaimer clause to preclude your ability to recover when the business fraudulently concealed or misrepresented information to you that caused you to enter into that contract.

TCPA CLAIMS AGAINST REAL ESTATE AGENTS

Over the years there has been a lot of confusion with regards to whether a TCPA claim can be made against a real estate agent. However, the law is quite clear that real estate agents who are in the business of selling property may be sued for their unfair or deceptive acts under the TCPA. On the other hand, a property owner who is selling the property without an agent is not in the business of selling property so they cannot be sued under the TCPA.

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WHAT DAMAGES CAN I PURSUE FOR THE BUSINESS’ UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE ACT UNDER THE TCPA?

Because the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act is intended to protect consumers and punish businesses that use unfair or deceptive acts in hopes that the deceived customer will not pursue legal action against them, Tennessee allows consumers to choose between multiple different types of damages.

First, you are entitled to compensatory damages. These are damages for the amount that you were harmed by the contract. For example, if a used car dealership sells you a vehicle for $20,000, knowing that there is an issue with the vehicle that would not have caused you to purchase the vehicle and then 1 week later the vehicle stops working specifically because of that issue, you are entitled to $20,000 to compensatory damages.

Additionally, you are entitled to punitive damages or treble damages, but not both. Significantly, however, we can seek both punitive damages and treble damages at trial, then choose between the two depending on whether the jury or judge awards punitive damages in an amount higher or lower than what the treble damages would be.

Treble damages award you three (3) times the amount of actual or compensatory damages that you are entitled to receive. In the example above, you would be able to receive $60,000 in damages, rather than the $20,000 compensatory damages for a TCPA violation.

Alternatively, punitive damages are damages that are intended to punish the wrongdoer and to deter other businesses, and the same business, from harming other customers in a similar way. As such, Tennessee allows consumers to seek punitive damages in addition to the amount that they were specifically harmed due to the wrongful act. If we went to a jury trial, we would ask the jury for a specific amount of money in punitive damages that we thought was reasonable to punish the defendant and deter similar acts, or we would ask the judge if we have a bench trial.

Lastly, in order to help make consumers pursuing a lawsuit against a business economically viable, courts may also award reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs for a TCPA violation. Attorneys’ fees are in addition to any compensatory, punitive damages or treble damages that you may be entitled.

Contact John Barnes Law in Knoxville TN Today

If you need a consumer protection lawyer, please contact the lawyers at John Barnes Law. We understand how frustrating it can be to feel as though you were taken advantage of. As a consumer, you have right and we are here to be sure that you are provided them. We are experienced and ready to help you today. 

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Client Testimonials

"John is amazing not only did he get the outcome he promised he did it in a shorter time than he originally said. He went above and beyond in returning my emails and phone calls. John and staff truly cared about me as a person. I highly recommend John Barnes."

Coach M.

"I would highly recommend Mr. Barnes to everyone & I would definitely contact Mr. Barnes if I or anyone in my family should ever need an attorney again:) They were all very professional, friendly & treated our case with importance:) Mr.Barnes got my son’s DUI dropped to reckless driving so I would definitely recommend him to everyone!!!!!!!"

Alicia U.

"Mr. Barnes and his staff are amazing. I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job with my case. At no point in the long process was I disappointed in any way with how things were handled."

Scott C.