Consumer protection laws are laws designed to protect the rights of consumers. There are many consumer protection laws at the local, state, and federal levels. Some protect consumers from fraud or deceptive marketing, while others protect consumers from dangerous products.
When businesses violate these rights, their customers may lose money or incur injuries. These consumers can seek financial compensation from the companies that engage in negligent or otherwise harmful business practices.
Consumer Protection from False Marketing
Fraudulent or deceptive marketing can lead consumers to buy products or services that fail to meet expectations. In some instances, the results may be harmless; in others, they can cause severe damage. For example, deceptive real estate marketing can lead consumers to sign a lease and put down a deposit on a nonexistent rental property.
Scams are another type of deceptive marketing. Scammers may use phone calls or emails to present themselves as an authority, like an IRS agent or a debt collector, or as a family member, like a grandchild. Under this guise, they may convince individuals to provide bank account or credit card information.
Scammers often prey upon at-risk consumers, such as elder adults. New York City Administrative Code Title 20 protects consumers from unfair and unconscionable trade practices like these. Some aspects of this law:
- Prohibit false or misleading statements and descriptions of good and services
- Prohibit false advertising
- Prevent sellers or lenders from taking advantage of consumers who lack the knowledge, experience, or capability to make an informed decision
- Regulate payday loans, credit consolidation, and prize award schemes
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Consumer Protection from Defective Products
Defective products can cause serious injury to consumers. For example, a toy may have sharp edges or break into pieces that become a choking hazard. Defective medical products and medications can cause injuries and death. They may be labeled with the wrong name or dosage, or contaminated with particulate matter, bacteria, and other impurities.
Consumer protection laws require manufacturers to issue recalls when they become aware of such dangers. They also require these companies to conduct extensive testing to make sure a product is safe before customers can buy it. When these laws are violated, consumers can take legal action.
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection protects consumers at the state level. It maintains a list of active scams and an archive of past scams to alert the public. It also provides other services, like:
- Product safety and injury protection, which includes issuing recalls for dangerous products
- Maintaining the Do Not Call registry
- Preventing identity theft and privacy
- Resolving consumer complaints
Federal Consumer Protection Laws
There are many consumer protection laws at the federal level. Here is information about some of the most prominent consumer protection laws:
- The Consumer Product Safety Act established the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which creates product standards and can recall or ban defective products.
- The Federal Trade Commission Act established the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which prohibits unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices. It also investigates and sues companies and individuals who go against its regulations.
- The Fair Debt Collections Protection Act protects debtors from aggressive and unethical debt collectors.
Filing Class Action Lawsuits For Consumer Rights Violations
If a business or individual violated your consumer rights, you may be entitled to financial compensation known as damages. If you are part of a large group of consumers that suffered from the same violation, you may be able to participate in a class action lawsuit.
A class action lawsuit represents a group of people against a single defendant. In general, the plaintiffs share the cost of litigation and the damages awarded. This type of lawsuit can move through the court more quickly than numerous individual lawsuits, resulting in quicker payouts to the victims.
This type of legal action can also ensure that no single plaintiff recoups all the damages before others can file suit. Our firm can take the details of your case and help you determine if a class action lawsuit is a good option for you.
Time Limits for Consumer Protection Lawsuits in New York
If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligent business practices, you only have a limited amount of time to seek financial compensation through the courts. New York City and other jurisdictions in the state are subject to a statute of limitations, or deadline, on these cases.
Do not wait to act if you have been victimized by a negligent company. Once the statute of limitations has passed, you forfeit your right to pursue damages.
Reach Out to Morelli Law Firm Now
Consumer protection laws aim to prevent consumers from harm, both physical and financial. If your consumer rights have been violated, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Reach out to Morelli Law Firm today by calling (212) 751-9800. We will provide a FREE consultation for your case.