JW Zepeda
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What is Consumer Law? | DTPA

What is Consumer Law?

Words from the Founder:

We all have had a consumer law claim at one time or another, and either we did not know that there was a legal claim we could bring, or we thought we could not afford a lawyer.

Did you know most consumer claims due to someone or some company taking advantage of you will not cost you a dime because the liable party, by law, must pay your attorney fees and court costs when we prevail.

When we bring consumer law claims, we not only get justice for you, but we lessen the chances of the next person getting mistreated.

When we bring consumer law claims, we shine the light on entities and people who take advantage of others.

Legal action gets wrongdoers to wise up and do better or be forced out of the market.

Bringing a consumer law claim will not only not cost you anything if we prevail, but also if a judge finds that the wrongdoer acted knowingly or intentionally, you can be awarded up to three times the Damages (depending on the type of claim).

In a country that values buying and selling more than any other country, doing what we can to ensure everybody plays fair benefits all of us. 

I took a specific DTPA class in law school that few took to prepare this law firm to serve you with the latest techniques.

This firm takes your Consumer Law case personally. We will fight for your justice and a better marketplace for us all.

We Stand Ready To Serve.

-JW Zepeda

jw zepeda law firm about

Most of These claims have a time limit in which they must be brought. Act now.

What is Consumer Law?

What is Consumer Law?  If someone or some company lied to you or hid facts from you to get you to buy or accept a service, Consumer Law is our sword to bring you justice.

If you need DTPA defense and did not mean to misrepresent or cheat someone, this firm can be Your Champion.

The Law Is Our Shield

The Founder of this firm took a particular class in law school that focused on DTPA specifically to prepare this firm for these types of claims.

We are all consumers because we all buy things.
Knowing Consumer Law Is Power.
the law is a sword
Legal Knowledge is Our Sword.

What is Consumer Law? It can be asked another way what is DTPA Law.

The DPTA allows multiple types of claims to be brought under its umbrella of protection.

1. Laundry list violations—The list can be found below:

2. Breach of an Implied or Express Warranty:

These warranties come from other areas of the law because the DTPA does not create warranties. 

For Example:

UCC Warranties:

Express Warranties: This warranty is created by giving: Affirmations of fact, promises, descriptions, samples, or models, if any of these become “part of the basis of the bargain.”

Implied Warranty of Merchantability: This warranty occurs when the seller is a merchant who deals in goods of the kind being sold. This warranty includes used goods as well.

There are two implied promises in this warranty:

        1. Goods fit for ordinary purposes.
    1. Goods go without objection in trade. 

Implied Warranty of Fitness for Purpose: This warranty occurs when the seller has reason to know the buyer’s particular purchasing purpose. And the buyer relied on the seller’s skill or judgment to select the goods they bought. 

Common-Law Warranties—some examples are:

Implied Warranty of Habitability (now in Property Code):

The home or apartment should be fit for human habitation.

Implied Warranty of Fit and Workmanlike Quality of Repair or Construction (for tangible goods or property where pertains):

Implied warranty that repair, modification, or construction of existing tangible goods or real estate property will be performed in a good and workmanlike manner.

Good and Workmanlike is the quality of work performed by one with the knowledge, training, or expertise necessary to practice the trade or occupation successfully. The work must have been performed in a manner considered proficient by those capable of judging such work.

Residential Construction Commission Act.

Provides for statutory warranties of good and workmanlike construction and habitability that are exclusive and supersede any Common-Law Warranties related to new residences or improvements

Fitness of Commercial Leasehold:

Implied warranty that the leased premises are suitable for their intended commercial purpose.

Warranty of Title:

Title conveyed shall be good, and its transfer rightful; and


The goods shall be delivered free from any security interest or other lien or encumbrance of which the buyer at the time of contracting does not know.

3. Unconscionable Act or Course of Action:

This occurs when the defendant (person or company being sued) takes advantage of the plaintiff’s (person suing) lack of:  

    • Knowledge, 
    • Ability, 
    • Experience or 
    • The capacity of a person
    • To a grossly unfair degree

“Gross” means glaringly noticeable, flagrant, complete, and unmitigated.

No proof of intent, knowledge or conscious indifference is necessary to support recovery from an unconscionable action.

This is an objective standard based on what a reasonable person would think.

This claim should be decided by examining the entire transaction, “a totality of circumstances.”


4. Insurance Code: 

Sections 541 and 542 of the Insurance Code can be used under the DTPA.

It protects consumers from insurance companies using deceptive or bad-faith practices.

Bad faith practices include not settling a bona fide claim and not providing prompt payment of a claim.

If you can answer what is Consumer Law liars who sell products and services are kept in check.

The “laundry list” below is directly off Texas’s BUSINESS AND COMMERCE CODE:

(1) passing off goods or services as those of another;

(2) causing confusion or misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval, or certification of goods or services;

(3) causing confusion or misunderstanding as to affiliation, connection, or association with, or certification by, another;

(4) using deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services;

(5) representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities which they do not have or that a person has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection which the person does not;

(6) representing that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, reconditioned, reclaimed, used, or secondhand;

(7) representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another;

(8) disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representation of facts;

(9) advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;

(10) advertising goods or services with intent not to supply a reasonable expectable public demand, unless the advertisements disclosed a limitation of quantity;

(11) making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amount of price reductions;

(12) representing that an agreement confers or involves rights, remedies, or obligations which it does not have or involve, or which are prohibited by law;

(13) knowingly making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the need for parts, replacement, or repair service;

(14) misrepresenting the authority of a salesperson, representative or agent to negotiate the final terms of a consumer transaction;

(15) basing a charge for the repair of any item in whole or in part on a guaranty or warranty instead of on the value of the actual repairs made or work to be performed on the item without stating separately the charges for the work and the charge for the warranty or guaranty, if any;

(16) disconnecting, turning back, or resetting the odometer of any motor vehicle so as to reduce the number of miles indicated on the odometer gauge;

(17) advertising of any sale by fraudulently representing that a person is going out of business;

(18) advertising, selling, or distributing a card which purports to be a prescription drug identification card issued under Section 4151.152, Insurance Code, in accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner of insurance, which offers a discount on the purchase of health care goods or services from a third party provider, and which is not evidence of insurance coverage, unless:

(A) the discount is authorized under an agreement between the seller of the card and the provider of those goods and services or the discount or card is offered to members of the seller;

(B) the seller does not represent that the card provides insurance coverage of any kind; and

(C) the discount is not false, misleading, or deceptive;

(19) using or employing a chain referral sales plan in connection with the sale or offer to sell of goods, merchandise, or anything of value, which uses the sales technique, plan, arrangement, or agreement in which the buyer or prospective buyer is offered the opportunity to purchase merchandise or goods and

 in connection with the purchase receives the seller’s promise or representation that the buyer shall have the right to receive compensation or consideration in any form for furnishing to the seller the names of other prospective buyers if receipt of the compensation or consideration is contingent upon the occurrence of an event subsequent to the time the buyer purchases the merchandise or goods;

(20) representing that a guaranty or warranty confers or involves rights or remedies which it does not have or involve, provided, however, that nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to expand the Implied Warranty of Merchantability as defined in Sections 2.314 through 2.318 and Sections 2A.212 through 2A.216 to involve obligations in excess of those which are appropriate to the goods;

(21) promoting a pyramid promotional scheme, as defined by Section 17.461;

(22) representing that work or services have been performed on, or parts replaced in, goods when the work or services were not performed or the parts replaced;

(23) filing suit founded upon a written contractual obligation of and signed by the defendant to pay money arising out of or based on a consumer transaction for goods, services, loans, or extensions of credit intended primarily for personal, family, household, or agricultural use in any county other than in the county in which the defendant resides at the time of the commencement of the action or in the county in which the defendant

in fact signed the contract; provided, however, that a violation of this subsection shall not occur where it is shown by the person filing such suit that the person neither knew or had reason to know that the county in which such suit was filed was neither the county in which the defendant resides at the commencement of the suit nor the county in which the defendant in fact signed the contract;

(24) failing to disclose information concerning goods or services which was known at the time of the transaction if such failure to disclose such information was intended to induce the consumer into a transaction into which the consumer would not have entered had the information been disclosed;

(25) using the term “corporation,” “incorporated,” or an abbreviation of either of those terms in the name of a business entity that is not incorporated under the laws of this state or another jurisdiction;

(26) selling, offering to sell, or illegally promoting an annuity contract under Chapter 22, Acts of the 57th Legislature, third Called Session, 1962 (Article 6228a-5, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes), with the intent that the annuity contract will be the subject of a salary reduction agreement, as defined by that Act, if the annuity contract is not an eligible qualified investment under that Act;

(27) subject to Section 17.4625, taking advantage of a disaster declared by the governor under Chapter 418, Government Code, or by the president of the United States by:

(A) selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price; or

(B) demanding an exorbitant or excessive price in connection with the sale or lease of fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity;

(28) using the translation into a foreign language of a title or other word, including “attorney,” “immigration consultant,” “immigration expert,” “lawyer,” “licensed,” “notary,” and “notary public,” in any written or

electronic material, including an advertisement, a business card, a letterhead, stationery, a website, or an online video, in reference to a person who is not an attorney in order to imply that the person is authorized to practice law in the United States;

(29) delivering or distributing a solicitation in connection with a good or service that:

(A) represents that the solicitation is sent on behalf of a governmental entity when it is not; or

(B) resembles a governmental notice or form that represents or implies that a criminal penalty may be imposed if the recipient does not remit payment for the good or service;

(30) delivering or distributing a solicitation in connection with a good or service that resembles a check or other negotiable instrument or invoice, unless the portion of the solicitation that resembles a check or other negotiable instrument or invoice includes the following notice, clearly and conspicuously printed in at least 18-point type:


(31) in the production, sale, distribution, or promotion of a synthetic substance that produces and is intended to produce an effect when consumed or ingested similar to, or in excess of, the effect of a controlled substance or controlled substance analogue, as those terms are defined by Section 481.002, Health and Safety Code:

(A) making a deceptive representation or designation about the synthetic substance; or

(B) causing confusion or misunderstanding as to the effects the synthetic substance causes when consumed or ingested;

(32) a licensed public insurance adjuster directly or indirectly soliciting employment, as defined by Section 38.01, Penal Code, for an attorney, or a licensed public insurance adjuster entering into a contract with an insured for the primary purpose of referring the insured to an attorney without the intent to actually perform the services customarily provided by a licensed public insurance adjuster, provided that this subdivision may not be construed to prohibit a licensed public insurance adjuster from recommending a particular attorney to an insured;

(33) owning, operating, maintaining, or advertising a massage establishment, as defined by Section 455.001, Occupations Code, that:

(A) is not appropriately licensed under Chapter 455, Occupations Code, or is not in compliance with the applicable licensing and other requirements of that chapter; or

(B) is not in compliance with an applicable local ordinance relating to the licensing or regulation of massage establishments; or

(34) a warrantor of a vehicle protection product warranty using, in connection with the product, a name that includes “casualty,” “surety,” “insurance,” “mutual,” or any other word descriptive of an insurance business, including property or casualty insurance, or a surety business.

If you can answer what is Consumer Law liars who sell products and services are kept in check.

These claims do not only have to be brought against the wrongdoer. The claim can hold their employer liable as well.


Respondeat superior: This is a way to hold an employer or company responsible for the actions of another (“vicariously liable”). Suppose the company’s representative acted within the scope of their duties when the injury
occurred. In that case, the employer is liable too.


This rule takes an excellent legal argument because the other side will try to argue that their representative was on a “frolic.”


A frolic is a departure from the scope of their duties, and therefore the employer would not be liable.


The employer is usually the only party with the finances and sufficient insurance to bring justice to injured individuals. It is of the utmost importance not to lose this legal argument if there is a path to victory.

The Damages below are not exclusive to DTPA because the DTPA borrows Damages from other areas of civil law.

The Damages below are an example of recovery Damages depending on the type of DTPA claim. 

The DTPA also allows for treble Damages (three times the amount of Economic and Mental Anguish Damages in some cases).

The DTPA also may allow for the recovery of court costs and reasonable attorney fees.

Damages would include any financial loss or damage to your reputation that results from the claim.

“Damages” in this context mean what you may be able to get from bringing this type of lawsuit.


General Damages (Economic Damages): These are Damages that an attorney does not need to specially plead because they are usually suffered by the type of injury sustained. A characteristic of these Damages is that they are easier to quantify because they are not subjective.


Loss of Income earning ability (known as lost wages):


The injured person would have made money through employment if not injured.


As the name suggests, these damages also apply to the loss of income-earning ability.


Suppose the injured party took a lesser-paying job due to their injuries.


The amount recoverable is the difference between wages before the injury and now.


These wages are measured from the time of the injury to the time of settlement or jury decision.


Future wages:

If the injured person could never do the same job they had before the injury, the decrease in pay will be permanent. The injured party may be entitled to the wages they would have earned in the future at the job they had before the injury.


Furthermore, this recovery is for any quantifiable decrease in the injured person’s financial situation due to employment changes.

For Example:


Commissions and bonuses.


Any change in benefits.


Promotion or raises missed due to the injury.


Medical costs:


These costs will be for past and future medical expenses.


Based on the injury, the injured will need future medical attention. Because the costs are the fault of the liable (this is the civil court equivalent of saying “guilty” in a criminal case) party, that party will be held responsible for these costs.


Special Damages (Non-Economic Damages):

These types of injuries are hard to prove. An attorney must specially plead them because they must be more apparent to third parties.


Mental anguish (Emotional distress) (this is the mental effects that came about due to the injury):


The injured party may recover due to past and future mental anguish caused by the injury.


Though this type of injury may be the most devastating, these injuries may not always be recoverable.


The ability to recover from these injuries is very situation specific. It requires a personal injury attorney who knows the law and case law developments. A competent attorney can fight against insurance companies because insurance companies rarely want to give anything significant for mental anguish.


Pain and suffering:


These types of Damages allow recovery for the injured person for the pain and suffering that the injury caused.


Because this injury is personal, it is often hard for others to understand and believe the pain and suffering the injured person went through or is going through.


Proving the pain and suffering is a sell; either the other side will buy in and believe the injured party, or they will not.


Physical impairment (Loss of enjoyment of life):


This type of Damage may be recoverable if you had an activity you used to do and now can no longer do due to your physical limitations.


Loss of consortium:



If the injury was so severe as to affect your relationship with your spouse, YOUR SPOUSE MIGHT BE ABLE TO RECOVER under this type of Damage. This type of recovery would be from a separate claim filed by your spouse.



A CHILD COULD SUE SEPARATELY AND CLAIM THIS TYPE OF DAMAGE if their parent’s injury affected the parent’s role in the child’s life.




This type of recovery may be allowed when the injury has physically changed your body.


This type of Damage can be for past and future disfigurement.


Any other non-financial harm reasonably associated with the injuries may be recoverable.


Exemplary Damages (Punitive Damages):


To get exemplary Damages, the person looking for these Damages must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the injury is the result of either:


(1) Fraud.

Fraud: Occurs when a person misrepresents something essential to the bargain while knowing the misrepresentation is false, and the person being lied to is justified in their belief of the lie. And the lie caused Damages.


(2) Malice.

Malice: Is a specific intent to inflict substantial harm.


(3) Gross negligence.

Gross negligence: This is an act or omission, which a reasonable person in the wrongdoer’s shoes should have known of the extreme risk due to the probability of significant harm, and the wrongdoer knew of the risk and consciously disregarded the risk.


Unless these Damages are looked for under a statute that authorizes them, then clear and convincing evidence must show the matters and mental state of the statute conditions.


The jury must receive instructions on these Damages and be unanimous in their desire to award such Damages.


Clear and convincing: Proof would impart a “firm belief or conviction” if the evidence was presented to a reasonable person.

There are a few defenses to DTPA, but the overriding theme is that if the defendant (the person sued) was in error due to his good faith reliance on a credible source of information, the defendant might have a valid defense.

However, due to the DTPA’s ability to bring in claims from other areas of law—defenses vary.

Defenses valid against specific claims if brought independently are allowed if those claims are brought under the DTPA.

Furthermore, suppose the plaintiff brought the claim in bad faith (without merit). In that case, the plaintiff may have to pay for all the defense and court costs. 

How to deal with insurance companies:


People get insurance to cover harm caused to others and themselves, and we all usually have insurance.

Most of us have the impression that insurance companies are in business to help when unexpected expenses arise or tragedies happen, but that is not the purpose of insurance companies.


The purpose of insurance companies is to make money, like any other business.


So, the less money the insurance pays out, the more money they make. That is only common sense.


No matter how nice the person representing the insurance company is, or if you have already dealt with the insurance company and think they are the exception and care for their clients. The insurance company’s primary goal is to find a way not to pay your claim, with few exceptions.


Some insurance companies rely on scare tactics and threats to make you think you must settle or force you to pay out of pocket.


Follow these rules when dealing with insurance companies:


  • Contact an attorney first when you need to call an insurance company due to an injury, wrongful death, or property damage.
  •  If the insurance company calls you, tell them you have nothing to say before finding legal representation.
  • Contact an attorney and tell them that the insurance company called you.
  • Never give the insurance company any requested information or document without consulting an attorney.
  • Only accept the offer or settlement the insurance company offers after consulting an attorney.
  • Call an attorney immediately if your insurance company says you must pay out of pocket.


Calling an attorney is always possible, even if you have already talked to an insurance company.


Attorneys are legally obligated to put your interest above all else in matters involving you.


Insurance representatives who are contacting you are professional negotiators.

DTPA is a field of law that exists to make the buying of goods and services a safer place.

However, as you can see with just the limited information shared with you, this is a complex area of law.

Hiring a Great DTPA Attorney can mean the difference between winning and losing.

We Stand Ready To Serve.

It is said sunshine is the best disinfectant, which the law does. It shines the light on dangerous items, situations, and people.

Legal disputes are the primary way companies and individuals learn from their mistakes.

Legal disputes make the world safer for the next person while at the same time getting you the justice you deserve.

I assure you that this firm will take this type of claim personally because we treasure your justice, and we could save the next person from harm or death.

Your Justice Awaits. This Firm Will Be Your Champion And Fight For Your Family’s Honor.

We Will Get It Done.

Standing watch