Picking up where we left off in our series about dealing with unreliable contractors in Ohio, this article looks at a few common claims that we’ve seen homeowners make to protect their rights. Specifically, we’ll explore violations to the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act.
As always, if you have any questions about this topic, feel free to contact our law firm.
Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act Violations
Depending on your situation, it may be possible to assert claims that a Contractor violated the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (including the Home Solicitation Sales Act). Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act allows Claimants to recover actual damages for loss of money, property, or thing of value as a result of a Contractor’s use of an unfair or deceptive practice. Engaging in any act or practice that is deceptive to the consumer is an unfair or deceptive act or practice that violates the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act.
To recover damages from a Contractor for violation of this law, Claimants must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the:
1) Contractor knowingly committed an act or practice that is unfair or deceptive under this law; and
2) Claimants suffered a loss of money, property, or thing of value as a result of the unfair or deceptive act or practice.
“Knowingly” only means that the Contractor intentionally committed the act not that the Contractor has to know that its conduct violates the law. Einhart v. Ford Motor Co. (1990), 48 Ohio St.3d 27, and Bittner v. Tri-County Toyota, Inc. (1991), 58 Ohio St.3d 143.
Other Potential Violations
In addition, Claimants may also be able to make several other allegations against a Contractor regarding violation of the Consumer Sales Practices Act. For example, Claimants might assert that the defective work performed by a Contractor and the performance characteristics or benefits that Contractor represented to the Claimants were not of the particular standard and quality that the Contractor represented they would be, and were not supplied in accordance with previous representations. Or, let’s assume that even though an express warranty existed, the Contractor has not repaired the faulty and defective work. In this case, Claimants might assert that the Contractor’s representation as to the warranty was false and violated R.C. 1345.02(B) of the CSPA and that the Contractor acted in an unfair and deceptive manner.
When Claimants have proven, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a Contractor used any one or more of these acts or practices, then the Contractor has violated the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. Richards v. Beechmont Volvo, 127 Ohio App.3d 188, 190, 711 N.E.2d 1088, 1090, (1st Dist. 1998).
Questions About the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act?
Feel free to submit your questions. Our law firm is happy to assist you.