The Consumer Sales Practices Act
Chapter 1345 of the Ohio Revised Code is known as the Consumer Sales Practices Act ("CSPA"). CSPA applies to a "consumer transaction," which is defined, in short, as a (1) sale, lease, or other transfer of a (2) good or service (3) to an individual (4) for a primarily personal, family, or household purpose.
CSPA is designed to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive, or unconscionable acts or practices by a supplier of goods or services. "Unfair or deceptive acts or practices" are listed in Section 1345.02 and, for the most part, involve misrepresentations to the consumer about the nature of the goods or services provided. Unconscionable acts or practices are listed in Section 1345.03.
A consumer can file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General, who can then decide whether to pursue action under CSPA. However, depending on the severity of the alleged violation, it may make sense for a consumer to file a civil suit based on CSPA (oftentimes, the suit may also involve claims for breach of contract, etc.). Civil suits are authorized under Section 1345.09. That Section permits a consumer to rescind the transaction in question or recover actual economic damages plus an amount not more than $5,000 in non-economic damages. In addition, a consumer may be entitled to treble damages if there is a violation which is deemed to be deceptive or unconscionable in nature. "Treble damages" means 3x a consumer's actual economic damages.
CSPA is complicated and does not apply to all consumer and business transactions. If you have questions about CSPA, or how it may impact you, contact the attorneys at Stubbins, Watson, & Bryan Co., L.P.A. today.