Alabama has a good consumer law for any consumer to use if he or she has been wronged by a business. Alabama statute section 8-19-1 provides for the Alabama Deceptive Trade Practices Act. This law states, as its legislative intent under section 8-19-2, that “the public health, welfare and interest require a strong and effective consumer protection program to protect the interest of both the consuming public and legitimate business person.”
This law sets forth twenty-six separate deceptive trade practices acts and has a catchall that provides for redress for “engaging in any other unconscionable, false, misleading or deceptive act or practice in the conduct of trade or commerce.” This Alabama law, in section 8-19-10 allows a private right of action and provides that someone who commits the act will be responsible for monetary damages to another person for “any actual damages sustained by such consumer or person, or the sum of $100, whichever is greater, or up to three times any actual damages, in the court’s discretion.”
The law also provides that, in a successful action to enforce this law, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney’s fees will be paid. If someone is looking to pursue a cause of action under this Alabama law, then there is a requirement that, at least fifteen days prior to the filing of any action under this section, a written demand for relief, identifying the claimant and reasonably describing the unfair or deceptive act or practice relied upon and the injury suffered, shall be communicated to any prospective respondent by placing in the United States mail or otherwise.
This letter is an absolute requirement under this law for any business that has a place or business or keeps assets within the state of Alabama. The letter is not required to be sent to a business that does not have a place of business in Alabama or does not keep assets within the state. Our advice, however, is to always send a letter to any entity whether they are located in the state of Alabama or not prior to filing a lawsuit under this section.
If you believe you have been wronged by a business or company as a consumer, please feel free to contact one of our offices nearest to you to set up a free consultation to discuss your situation.
Ron Sykstus is a Managing Partner of several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arizona, Tucson, and a Juris Doctorate from the Northern Illinois University College of Law. Ron has served in numerous positions throughout the U.S. Army and now utilizes his expertise in the areas of VA issues, security clearances, military law, and bankruptcy to assist his clients when they need it most. Read his full bio here.