Ohio Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Ohio has adopted the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (“Act”) with some modifications.  The Act is stated in Ohio Revised Code, Titles 41, Chapter 4165.  Additionally, some provisions of the Act overlap with the Uniform Consumer Sales Practices Act, which is stated in Ohio Revised Code, Title 13, Chapter 1345.

Chapter 4165.02 prohibits false advertising.  Under Chapter 1345.07 the Attorney General can bring an action upon knowing about a violation, and also can bring a class action on behalf of the injured consumers.  Chapter 1345.09 permits private actions.

Remedies available under Chapters 4165.03, 1345.07, 1345.09 are:

  • civil penalty
  • injunction,
  • actual damages plus an amount within $5000 in case of non economic damages,
  • attorney fees,
  • other remedies as available at common law and general statutes.

Under Chapter 4549.42 of Odometer Rollback and Disclosure Act, tampering an odometer to misrepresent the number of miles in the meter is forbidden, and a violation is a third degree felony.  Under Chapter 4549.49, liability for odometer tampering is treble damages or $1500, whichever is greater plus attorney fees and cost. 

ORC Ann. 4165.02 reads in part:

Ҥ 4165.02. Acts constituting violation
   (A) A person engages in a deceptive trade practice when, in the course of the person’s business, vocation, or occupation, the person does any of the following:
   (1) Passes off goods or services as those of another;
   (2) Causes likelihood of confusion or misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services;
   (3) Causes likelihood of confusion or misunderstanding as to affiliation, connection, or association with, or certification by, another;
   (4) Uses deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services;”

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ORC Ann. 1345.09 reads:
”§ 1345.09. Private remedies 
   For a violation of Chapter 1345. of the Revised Code, a consumer has a cause of action and is entitled to relief as follows:
   (A) Where the violation was an act prohibited by section 1345.02, 1345.03, or 1345.031 [1345.03.1] of the Revised Code, the consumer may, in an individual action, rescind the transaction or recover the consumer’s actual economic damages plus an amount not exceeding five thousand dollars in noneconomic damages.
   (B) Where the violation was an act or practice declared to be deceptive or unconscionable by rule adopted under division (B)(2) of section 1345.05 of the Revised Code before the consumer transaction on which the action is based, or an act or practice determined by a court of this state to violate section 1345.02, 1345.03, or 1345.031 [1345.03.1] of the Revised Code and committed after the decision containing the determination has been made available for public inspection under division (A)(3) of section 1345.05 of the Revised Code, the consumer may rescind the transaction or recover, but not in a class action, three times the amount of the consumer’s actual economic damages or two hundred dollars, whichever is greater, plus an amount not exceeding five thousand dollars in noneconomic damages or recover damages or other appropriate relief in a class action under Civil Rule 23, as amended.
   (C) (1) Except as otherwise provided in division (C)(2) of this section, in any action for rescission, revocation of the consumer transaction must occur within a reasonable time after the consumer discovers or should have discovered the ground for it and before any substantial change in condition of the subject of the consumer transaction.
      (2) If a consumer transaction between a loan originator, mortgage broker, or nonbank mortgage lender and a customer is in connection with a residential mortgage, revocation of the consumer transaction in an action for rescission is only available to a consumer in an individual action, and shall occur for no reason other than one or more of the reasons set forth in the “Truth in Lending Act,” 82 Stat. 146 (1968), 15 U.S.C. 1635, not later than the time limit within which the right of rescission under section 125(f) of the “Truth in Lending Act” expires.
   (D) Any consumer may seek a declaratory judgment, an injunction, or other appropriate relief against an act or practice that violates this chapter.”

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Inside Ohio Deceptive Trade Practices Laws