Louisiana’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act seeks to prevent businesses in the state from engaging in “unfair or deceptive acts and practices” or “unfair methods of competition” when doing business with customers. The law allows anyone who falls victim to such practices to file a civil action against the perpetrator and recover treble damages (three times the amount of the actual loss) and attorney’s fees. Many types of undesirable conduct on the part of businesses can fall under the Act, including misrepresenting the features of a product or service, suggesting that a good or service has been approved or endorsed by a third party when no such sponsorship exists, or passing off used or refurbished items as new. Price misrepresentation is another area where violations of the Act are common.
On September 22, 2011, Jeffrey P. Berniard of the Berniard Law Firm, on behalf of its client, Bayou Internet, filed a class-action lawsuit suit in federal court against the Royal St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans. The suit alleges that the hotel routinely hid a $7.95-per-day “resort fee” from guests, which it failed to disclose until customers received their bills at the time of check-out. This practice of under-representing the true cost of a room at the Royal St. Charles makes it impossible for would-be customers to accurately compare prices when shopping for a place to stay in the French Quarter. Bayou Internet believes that it is among possibly thousands of customers who have paid for accommodations at the Royal St. Charles Hotel and fallen victim to the pricing misrepresentation. Bayou Internet has asked U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan to issue an injunction ordering the Royal St. Charles Hotel to immediately end their practice of omitting the resort fee in advertised room rates. The complaint seeks an award for the plaintiffs of treble damages as provided for in the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act, as well as interest, court costs, and attorney’s fees.
This type of claim under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act is representative of the wide variety of issues that the Berniard Law Firm stands at the ready to help consumers resolve. If you feel you have been a victim of fraud, misrepresentation, or other unfair business practice, don’t feel like you are powerless against “big business.”
Contact the Berniard Firm today at 1-866-574-8005 to stand up for your rights and get the recovery you deserve.