Miami Business Law Attorneys
Frequently asked questions
Q: Are consumers and businesses protected from frivolous and deceptive actions by businesses?
Yes. You can find it at Fla. Stat. Sec. 501.201 et. seq. This set of statutes allows affected consumers to sue for violation of plethora of wrongs, including, but not limited to, unfair competition, competition exclusion, antitrust violations, bait-and-switch scams, and consumer law violations.
Fla. Stat. § 501.204. (titled unlawful acts and practices), states:
(1) Unfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that, in construing subsection (1), due consideration and great weight shall be given to the interpretations of the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts relating to s. 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. s. 45(a)(1) as of July 1, 2006.
Click here to have an attorney from Feldman Morgado review the basic facts of your case; we will not charge you for this. Feldman Morgado, a Florida law firm with offices in Tampa, Ocala, Naples and Miami, we can assist you with any transaction or contract action in which you have been scammed, defrauded or deceived. Contact the attorneys at the Tampa Bay law firm of Feldman Morgado, attorneys who specialize in high-dollar consumer fraud actions under the FDUTPA.
Who may sue as a "consumer" under the Florida Unfair Trade Practices Act?
Almost anyone. Florida Statute Sec. 501.203 defines a "consumer" as "an individual; child, by and through its parent or legal guardian; business; firm; association; joint venture; partnership; estate; trust; business trust; syndicate; fiduciary; corporation; any commercial entity, however denominated; or any other group or combination"
Click here to have an attorney from Feldman Morgado review the basic facts of your case; we will not charge you for this.
What am I entitled to under the Florida Unfair Trade Practices Act?
If you are a consumer and a business has engaged in unfair methods of competition or been deceptive in its business practices you likely can sue for damages. Damages can range, but may include injunctive relief to prevent and retrain violation, general damages, treble damages, lost profits, attorney's fees, and court costs.
Feldman Morgado can investigate and litigate your unfair trade practices allegation. If you feel you have a case, please email us a short plain statement of the relevant facts in your case here. There is no charge to have us review this statement of relevant facts.
When can I pierce the corporate veil?
Directors, corporate shareholders, and officers who defraud individuals or business may have the corporate shield pierced and become personally liable.
A Florida Court will look to three main things when deciding if the corporate veil should be pierced.
1. Was the corporation used as an alter ego (or mere instrument) used for the shareholders' personal benefit?
2. Was the person seeking to pierce the veil damaged by the actors conduct?
3. Can the piercing party demonstrate improper conduct by the corporation?
Plaintiffs will want to focus on any injustice or fraud that has been perpetrated by corporate actors. Courts will be more apt to pierce the corporate veil when fraud can be shown.
Once the corporate veil is pierced, the actors become personally liable. Thus, both the corporation's assets and corporate actor's assets may be garnished, attached, and subject to judgment.
A plaintiff must demonstrate adequate grounds to pierce the corporate veil by a "preponderance of the evidence."
Similarly, parent corporations cannot hide behind its subsidiaries when the subsidiary is a mere instrumentality of the parent corporation. Three common examples are:
1. Defrauding creditors out of money by creating subsidiaries to hold the contracts is the most common example of such fraud;
2. The parent company purposefully undercapitalizing a subsidiary; and/or
3. The parent company controlling its subsidiary where the subsidiary essentially has not "real" corporate interest but that of its parent.