The Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (“MMPA”) exists to protect consumers. Missouri’s Supreme Court has observed that the unfair practices declared unlawful by the MMPA are exceedingly broad. A brief synopsis of the MMPA is provided below:
Deception, fraud, false pretenses, false promises, misrepresentations, unfair practices, or concealment or omission of material fact.
Sale, lease, offer for sale or lease, attempt to sell or lease, distribution, or advertisement of any merchandise including goods, commodities, intangibles, realty or services. Also includes solicitation of funds for any charitable purpose.
Advertisements by publisher, radio and television media, with no knowledge of falsity; institutions supervised by director of insurance, credit unions, or finance unless director authorizes attorney general to act or a statute authorizes attorney general or a private citizen to act.
Actual damages, punitive damages discretionary; court “may” award attorney fees to prevailing party; equitable relief as is necessary or proper; class action for actual and punitive damages, injunction or other equitable relief; injunction; attorney fees.
For private action, must purchase or lease goods or services for personal, family, household purposes and thereby suffer ascertainable loss of money or property.
Attorney general enforces; may issue cease and desist order after giving notice; may seek injunction; court may make necessary orders including receiver, restitution, up to $5000 civil penalty per violation of injunction or restitution order; costs; up to $1000 civil penalty for initial violations, unless defendant shows bona fide error despite procedures; rulemaking authority. Criminal penalties are available for willful conduct.
Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 15, §§ 60-3, 60-4, 60-6 through 60-9—deception; omission of material fact; substantiation for claims; price comparisons; bait and switch; availability of advertised goods; unsolicited merchandise; unfair practices, including price gouging, duty of good faith, duress, breach of contract, unconscionable practices, illegal conduct; timeshare rules; health spas; charitable solicitations; sale prices.
If you have been suffered due to unfair business practices, it is vital that you seek an attorney’s advice as soon as possible. The time to file these claims is extremely limited, and evidence to support your case will disappear with each passing day. The experienced Consumer Protection Lawyers at Titus Law Firm, LLC can investigate the details of your claim and explain your next steps at no cost to you. Call our office (913) 543-4500.