Unfair Business Practice Attorneys in California

Unfair Competition Law, or UCL (Business & Professions Code § 17200, et seq.,) prohibits unlawful, unfair, or deceptive business practices or acts. Similarly, the False Advertising Law, or FAL, (Business & Professions Code § 17500, et seq.,) makes it illegal to engage in deceptive, false and misleading advertising related to the sale or disposal of real or personal property or services. While someone harmed by unlawful, unfair, or deceptive business practice or act cannot sue for damages, they can seek equitable or injunctive relief. Using this form of relief, a customer or even another business hurt by false advertising or unfair competition can get an order from the Court to stop the unlawful business practices and to obtain restitution for money lost or gained by the bad actor.

Because of the wide reach of the UCL and the FAL, virtually all class actions filed in California have a UCL cause of action. While compensatory and punitive damages cannot be recovered in a UCL cause of action, Courts have allowed consumers to get their money back, and allowed employees to get their past due wages.

Statute of Limitations for Unfair Business Practices in California

California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) broadly prohibits all “unlawful, fraudulent or unfair” business acts or practices. The statute provides that the suit must be filed “within four years after the cause of action accrued.” (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 17208). Code Section 17200 states that unfair business practices or the UCL are subject to the same rules of accrual and equitable exceptions to the running of the statute of limitations as common law claims.

Unfair business practices include any number of unlawful or unfair conduct done by a business to gain an advantage or deceive consumers to buy their product or service. If you have been a victim of misleading or fraudulent business practices, contact Potter Handy, LLP.

Call (415) 534-1911 or email us to schedule a free, confidential consultation.