Good News: Idaho Legislature Doesn’t Want You to Get Ripped Off
Idaho’s Consumer Protection Act (IC 48-601 through 48-619) was designed to “protect both consumers and businesses against unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts and practices in the conduct of trade or commerce, and to provide efficient and economical procedures to secure such protection.”
The act provides a list of unlawful practices and provides consumers with a private right of action to recover damages against those who violate the act. IC 48-608. The act also states that a court “shall award” a consumer the attorney’s fees and costs incurred in bringing the consumer claim.
Extra Protection for Seniors or Disabled Individuals
If a business violates the act and harm a senior of disabled individual, the act states that this person may recover statutory damages of $15,000 or triple the actual damages, whichever is greater. This provides an extra layer of protection for these individuals. Also, it should (hopefully) make people less likely to take advantage of these people—though I doubt people who are looking to rip off seniors or disabled individuals are researching the law.
What Does this Mean for You?
If you believe you have been treated unfairly and unreasonably, or if you believe you were misled in relation to the purchase of goods or services, Idaho law provide you with a potentially power remedy: The Idaho Consumer Protection Act. Pursuing consumer claims should not be taken lightly and not every bad deal amounts to a violation of the act. Additionally, you should be aware that any action under the act must be brought within two years of the conduct giving rise to the claim.
If you, or someone you know, may have been the victim of consumer fraud or unfair practices, you should consult with an attorney of your choosing.