The primary enforcement tool used by the Consumer Protection and Public Health Division of OAG is the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices – Consumer Protection Act, which declares that “False, misleading or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful.”
The DTPA “shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying purposes, which are to protect consumers against false, misleading, and deceptive business practices, unconscionable actions, and breaches of warranty and to provide efficient and economical procedures to secure such protection.”
Section 17.46(b) lists 27 acts or practices, known as the “laundry list” of per se violations. Only private actions alleging “false, misleading, and deceptive practices” are limited to the laundry list. State action is not limited to the laundry list, but can proceed under Section 17.46(a) alone.
In addition to injunctive relief and restitution, “the trier of fact may award, a civil penalty to be paid to the state in an amount of: (1) not more than $20,000 per violation; and (2) if the act or practice that is the subject of the proceeding was calculated to acquire or deprive money or other property from a consumer who was 65 years of age or older when the act or practice occurred, and additional amount of not more than $250,000.