What is the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act? How does it impact consumers in the State of Ohio?
In this article, we’ll cover the basics that you need to know.
What is The Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act?
The Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (hereinafter referred to as “CSPA”) states that “unfair or deceptive” sales practices are prohibited, specifically any sales practice that misleads a consumer about what he or she is receiving in the form of a product or service. (Hannah v. Groom, 10th Dist. No. Franklin No. 07AP-502, 2008-Ohio-765.) When a supplier knowingly commits a breach, the breach will be found to be an “unfair or deceptive” act. (Id., and Cartwright v. Beverly Hills Floors, 7th Dist. Mahoming No. 11 MA 109, 2013-Ohio-2266.)
The CSPA also prohibits “unconscionable acts or misleading a consumer’s understanding of the nature of the transaction at issue.” See Estate of Cattano v. High Touch Homes, Inc., 6th Dist. Erie No. E-01-022, 2002-Ohio-2631, citing Einhorn v. Ford Motor Co., (1990) 48 Ohio St. 3d 27, 29 and R.C. 1345.02(A).
What is Actionable Under the CSPA?
To be actionable under the CSPA, the performance must amount to an unfair, deceptive or unconscionable act. (Davis v. Hawley-General Contracting, Inc., 2015-Ohio-3798 (6th Dist.).) There are several violations that have been previously been decided by Ohio Courts with those decisions having been made available for public inspection pursuant to R.C. 1345.05(A)(3):
- Plaintiff failed to perform services in a competent, satisfactory and workmanlike manner and then failed or refused to correct the substantial work or defect. Teeters Construction v. Dort., 142 Ohio Misc.2d 1, 2006-Ohio 7254-citing Celebrezze v. Goldstein American Builder & Supply Co., Case No. 53110 (PIF No. 3916) and Maimend v. Day. Case No. 89-2411 (PIF No. 1095);
- Failure to honor express warranties. Brown v. Lyons, 43 Ohio Misc. 14 (PIF No. 10000304, and Teeters Construction v. Dort., 142 Ohio Misc.2d 1, 2006-Ohio 7254;
In Davis v. Hawley, the 6th District Appellate court held that any violations of the applicable building codes or ordinances violated the CSPA. Id. In Davis, the contractor used rebar that was too small, spaced it apart and did not extend it to the sill place. The Court found that contractor violated the CSPA when he failed to conform to all of the applicable codes and ordinances, and he misrepresented to the homeowner how he fixed the problem. Id.
In Estate of Cattano v. High Touch Homes, Inc., 6th Dist. Erie No. E-01-022, 2022-Ohio-2631, the court found that the seller of the modular home violated the CSPA “where the work did not meet the standards of a model shown to the buyer and the repairs the seller intended to make were insufficient to remedy the problems.” Id. Similarly, in Erie Shores Builders, Inc. v. Leimbach, 6th Dist. Huron No. H-99-034, 2001 WL 803952, the court found that a contractor violated the CSPA “where a contractor was hired to construct a second floor addition, removed existing electrical services and improperly installed a new service, improperly reconstructed a chimney, and negligently installed a bathroom drain resulting in water damage.”
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