July 11, 2011 Articles

Little FTC Acts and Statutory Treble Damages-Traps for the Unwary

Approximately half of the states permit treble damage recovery, but the state standards for recovery vary significantly.

By Christine Lipsey and Dylan Tuggle

Unlike the Federal Trade Commission Act,[1] state unfair trade practices acts (“little FTC acts”) typically provide consumers with a private right of action for unfair trade practices. Although many of the little FTC acts seek to regulate similar conduct, the remedies afforded vary: Some provide for injunctive relief, some allow recovery of monetary damages, and approximately half of the state FTC acts allow plaintiffs to recover treble damages for violations of the state statutes. Even among those states that allow treble recovery, however, the requirements for obtaining treble damages differ.

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