Consumer Fraud Lawyers
As a consumer you have the right to be treated with respect, and receive products and services that work as advertised. Consumer fraud encompasses a wide range of unlawful and unfair acts including hidden fees, price fixing, faulty products, antitrust litigation and other forms of fraud. The consumer rights attorneys of Garcia, Artigliere & Medby can help if you feel that you or a loved one has been a victim of the predatory tactics of consumer fraud. We have a proven history of representing individuals against corporate giants and large industry groups with deep pockets. We are a nationwide consumer protection law firm with offices in California, Florida, Washington, Arizona and Kentucky. Our consumer rights lawyers are here to help you.
How to Identify Consumer Fraud
Customer fraud is the deceptive practice that results in financial or other losses for consumers in the course of a seemingly legitimate business transaction. In 2002 the Fair Trade Commision (FTC) reported that consumers lost $343 million in fraud-related incidents. Internet fraud is currently one of the most common types of fraud. As technology continues to improve, so must our ability to protect consumers. Some of the most common ways people commit identity theft or fraud is; by “dumpster diving”, “preapproved” credit card applications and personal identity internet fraud. It is important for consumers to protect their personal information by using safeguard systems on the Internet for online purchases as well as being aware that at any point, anyone can go through your garbage to gather the data they need.
The local, state and federal government all have laws in place to protect the consumer against many forms of fraud and unfair business practices. The FTC is the main federal entity enforcing consumer protection laws. The FTC uses industry guidelines and trade regulations to identify what an unfair deception is and shares complaints with law enforcement in order to investigate and eliminate unfair business practices. The FTC uses industry guides and trade regulations to define what an “unfair” or “deceptive” trade practice is.
The Process to Prove Consumer Fraud
In order to pursue a consumer fraud case, you must be able to prove that fraudulent acts took place such as:
- The person doing business with you made a false statement of “material fact” (a fact that was important to your transaction).
- The person making the statement knew or believed the statement was false.
- The consumer relied on the false statement to their detriment.
If you suspect you have been a victim of consumer fraud, it is best to contact a lawyer who has deep knowledge in consumer fraud. This will allow us to start collecting evidence immediately.
The consumer fraud lawyers of Garcia, Artigliere & Medby have a successful history of representing people against companies whose products or policies are deceptive or defective. We have achieved multi-million dollar jury verdicts and settlements. We have pursued a number of large-scale consumer fraud cases, including cases against high-profile companies with familiar names such as:
Consumer Protection Lawsuits
If the claim is small sometimes an individual may want to file a civil lawsuit. This type of lawsuit allows for specific attention to one specific situation and you may have a better chance of reaching a settlement quickly when the total amount of the case is large enough to worry the defendant. Individual lawsuits allow the plaintiff the opportunity to have all their documentation reviewed carefully in order to determine the best course of action. If it should warrant an individualized lawsuits will be determined on the amount your claim may be worth.
The consumer protection lawyers of Garcia, Artigliere & Medby have vast experience with individual cases against corporations with defective products. We believe it is important to work with corporations to raise their standards of best practices in order to ensure customer safety and satisfaction.
Consumer Protection Class Action Lawsuits
Sometimes the voice of a large group can be more effective then the voice of one. When multiple individuals have a similar grievance against a company for the same circumstance, a group of plaintiffs may join together and file suit against another group entity like a giant corporation or large insurance company. Class action lawsuits give the plaintiffs access to legal resources they may not otherwise have with just one individual grievance. Typically, in order to be considered a class action lawsuit there must be at least 100 plaintiffs involved with a similar complaint against the same corporation or insurance company.
The judge will determine the criteria required to be part of the class action lawsuit. Once the class action lawsuit is defined, the plaintiffs must be notified. Different forms of media like television, radio, mailings, newspapers and social media outlets may be used to bring awareness to the situation and reach all possible plaintiffs. Instructions are provided to the plaintiffs as well as information on how to opt out should they chose to do so. This allows an individual to file their own separate civil suit if they deem it necessary.
The main advantage to a class action lawsuit is the accessibility to a vast amount of resources available that an individual may not have if they pursued the case on their own. Few people have the financial resources on their own to go up against giant corporations or large insurance companies with deep pockets. An individual may also have access to attorneys who are more qualified to handle this situation since a judge selects the class action attorneys based on skills, knowledge and experience. Another advantage to pursuing a large class action lawsuit is the impact a settlement can have on the corporation. One class action lawsuit may be enough to cause the company to go bankrupt and the funds will be pooled and divided between the plaintiffs and lawyers so everyone gets their fair share.
Whether you pursue your consumer rights as an individual case or a class action lawsuit the impact will allow corporations and insurance companies to take accountability for their faulty, misleading and dangerous product. The pursuit of these cases also helps to enable lawmakers to promote change in the industry for safer guidelines and standards.
Any consumable commercially produced and distributed good and service advertised and sold to a consumer that is considered unfit for its intended use, dangerous or harmful, defective design, assembly or manufacture can be considered a defective product. This can include and is not limited to medical devices, automobile parts, nursing home services, medical facilities and consumer products. When the product doesn’t meet the standard requirements and a person is hurt, seriously injured or dies from a faulty product they can pursue a defective product claim. Stephen M. Garcia and the consumer rights attorneys of Garcia, Artigliere & Medby are involved with regulating consumer legislation law in order to protect consumers.
Defective products are not just the tangible object the consumer purchases it is also the guarantee use of the product that can be considered hazardous. False advertising, misleading information or deceptive statements can all contribute to the harmful effects of a product that does not perform to its intended use. In a false advertising lawsuit, the most heavily weighted factor is the advertisement’s potential to injure or harm a person because it is misleading the consumer. The compensation will be directly related to the funds the consumer lost through a purchase they may not have otherwise made- had the advertisement not been false. A false statement can be false at face value or an implied falsehood. Advertising industry standards must be met in order to ensure the safety of all consumers.
Unfair Business Practices
Corporations should not be allowed to mislead the consumer in purchasing a product that may be defective that harms someone due to its use. State and federal guidelines like the Unfair Business Act that was passed in 1914, ensures that all businesses follow federal guidelines and are held accountable for providing safe, useful products to the consumer. Legislation like this was established to stop fraudulent, unlawful or unfair acts and practices and to prevent misleading, deceptive or false advertising. If you or a loved one feels you are a victim of unfair business practices you should report the incident right away and get the help you need to be well compensated for the misleading practices of the business or corporation.
Consumer Protection Q & A
Q: What are my rights as a consumer for false advertising of a product?
A: Every consumer should be protected by state and federal guidelines for misleading, fraudulent and false advertisement of a product.
Q: How do I know if I have a consumer fraud case?
A: If you think you or a loved one suffered serious injury, harm, or even wrongful death due to a defective product speak to an attorney right away who has vast knowledge in consumer fraud to learn about your legal rights. Make sure you bring all documentation that you feel may be helpful to your case.
Q: How do I know if I have a consumer fraud class action lawsuit?
A: If you believe that you or a loved one have suffered serious injury, hazardous health conditions or even wrongful death due to a defective product or false advertising call a consumer protection attorney right away. Depending on your circumstances there could be other victims with a similar grievance against the same company. If this is the situation, you could be eligible for a consumer fraud class action lawsuit.
Q: Is there a time frame that I must file a consumer fraud claim by?
A: Every state has different guidelines for the statute of limitations on when to file a claim. The attorney assisting you in the consumer fraud claim can review the guidelines for the state you are filing your claim. If you are a victim of consumer fraud gather your documents together and file your claim quickly to endure meeting the timelines.
- $980 million settlement in a LCD antitrust lawsuit, this is believed to be the largest of this type of recovery in the history of the U.S.
- $388 million class action settlement against manufacturer of TFT-LCDs used in flat panel televisions, computer monitors, mobile phones and more.
- $8 million settlement against AOL and Best Buy for fraudulent practices.
- $14.99 million settlement in a business fair fraud case.
- $1.7 million lawsuit against Bluetooth hearing device manufacturers.
About our Firm
The consumer protection attorneys of Garcia, Artigliere & Medby have assisted victims of consumer fraud, false advertising and defective products since 1993. We have built a reputation for reaching large settlements when negligent, reckless and wrongful acts leads to consumer fraud. As a nationwide law firm with offices in California, Florida, Arizona, Washington and Kentucky we able to review complex cases and various state regulations and determine the best course of action for your case. For more information on how we can help guide you through this stressful time contact us today at 800.281.8515 or lawgarcia.com for a free, no obligation and confidential consultation. At Garcia, Artigliere & Medby there is no fee-not even court costs- unless we win your case.
COURT COSTS AND CASE EXPENSES WILL BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CLIENT