Section 75-1.1

News & Analysis as of

Can a Lender’s Failure to Provide a Promised Refinancing be an Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practice?

When a borrower asserts an alleged violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 against a lender, the claim often presents a familiar fact pattern. Frequently, the borrower alleges that the lender promised to refinance or modify the...more

Can Extensive Regulations Bar a Claim for Unfair Trade Practices?

In the fall of 2015, we wrote about a case between two sports agents. The suit concerned the decision by Robert Quinn, a former football standout at the University of North Carolina, to switch agents. The U.S. District...more

Can A Company Violate Chapter 75 Simply By Investigating Potential Trademark Infringement?

When a company investigates potential trademark infringement, what tactics can the company use without the investigation running afoul of North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act? The Fourth Circuit...more

The Economic-Loss Rule: Conflicting Signals

As we have discussed before, courts in North Carolina have not agreed on how the economic-loss rule applies, if at all, to claims under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. Two recent decisions by the North Carolina Court of...more

The Year in Review

As 2016 comes to a close, we again thank you, our readers, for your continued interest, support, and ideas. Decisions from the past year have confirmed the powerful role that N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 plays in North Carolina...more

Can a Lender Sue a Borrower for Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices?

In most lending-related cases under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1, a borrower sues a lender. Borrowers often pursue these claims to resist their repayment obligations or to seek leverage against foreclosure. Makadia v....more

Choice of Law in Unfair-Trade-Practices Cases

Can a contractual choice of law disable N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1? Yes, according to a recent decision from a federal court in New York. In Canon U.S.A., Inc. v. Cavin’s Business Solutions, Inc., a business filed a 75-1.1...more

Preemption by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet: The Exemption for “Pervasive and Intricate Regulation” by Another Field of Law

Courts often opine on the relationship between N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 and other bodies of law. In a recent case, a federal court announced a rare holding of that type: a holding that another body of law regulates an area so...more

Can Forcing a Company into Bankruptcy be an Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practice?

Can a bankruptcy trustee prove a violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 based on business strategies that forced a debtor into bankruptcy? The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina recently...more

Practical Guidance for Framing an Unfair-Trade-Practices Claim

A recent decision from a North Carolina federal court underscores the importance of how a plaintiff frames an alleged violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. In Hongda Chemical USA, LLC v. Shangyu Sunfit Chemical Co.,...more

Crash into Me? Not If You Want to Sue Me for Unfair Trade Practices

Does N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 allow a lawsuit by a remote user of a product—a user who had no involvement in buying the product? A federal court in North Carolina recently answered no. An unusual fact pattern for a...more

Breaches Of Covenants Not To Compete As Unfair And Deceptive Practices? The North Carolina Business Court Weighs In

When does a breach of a covenant not to compete violate N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1? Is tortious interference a per se violation of section 75-1.1? Departing-employee cases often raise both questions, but the answer to each...more

High Prices = Unfair Trade Practices?

Does N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 ever support liability simply because the price of a good or service is too high? To our surprise, a recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina...more

Can a Third Party Sue an Insurer for Unfair Trade Practices?

Can a third party use N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 to sue an insurer based on an insured’s misdeeds? A recent decision by the North Carolina Business Court answers with a qualified “no.” North Carolina law has usually barred...more

Bankruptcy Court Rejects Unfair-Practices Claim Against Insurer Accused of Aiding and Abetting Conversion of Trust Funds

A recent decision reminds us that North Carolina’s bankruptcy courts often rule on claims under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. In re NC & VA Warranty Co. was an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy of a warranty company....more

A Quirky Exemption: “Internal” Business Disputes

A recent decision by the North Carolina Business Court highlights an important—and counterintuitive—limit on the scope of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. Section 75-1.1 says expressly that it applies to practices “in or...more

Can Failing Antitrust Claims Be Repackaged as Unfair Methods of Competition? The North Carolina Business Court Answers No

Although courts sometimes describe N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 as an outgrowth of antitrust law, most 75-1.1 claims do not arise from antitrust fact patterns. SiteLink Software, LLC v. Red Nova Labs, Inc. is an exception....more

With Bank Fees, the Unfairness or Deception Is in the Details

Bank and financing fees are a prime target for alleged violations of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. Indeed, one of the seminal cases on section 75-1.1 concerns fees charged in a refinance transaction. Of course, the fact that...more

Treble-Damage Awards as Penalties

Plaintiffs who prove violations of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 are automatically entitled to treble damages under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-16. The automatic trebling of damages for 75-1.1 claims often leads to substantial verdicts...more

Contracts and Unfair Trade Practices, Redux

A recent decision by the North Carolina Business Court underscores the challenges faced by a party who tries to convert a breach of contract into a violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. A breach of contract alone, even...more

Debt Collection and Unfair Trade Practices

Today we return to the vexing relationship between N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 and the North Carolina Debt Collection Practices Act. The Debt Collection Act says that its “specific and general provisions . . . shall exclusively...more

Can Resolving a Legal Claim Be an Unfair Trade Practice?

A recent federal decision considers how N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 applies when a plaintiff attacks the resolution of a legal claim. The decision might create a new categorical limit on direct-unfairness claims under section...more

Consumer Fraud, Unfair Trade Practices, and Internet Purchases

If you buy a product through a website, and then the product doesn’t live up to its promises, can you sue the manufacturer for violating N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1? A recent decision by the federal court in Boston...more

The Employment Exemption and Its Temporal Scope

Generally, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 does not apply to employer-employee disputes. Most courts have held that these disputes fail the “in or affecting commerce” test under the statute. In a recent decision, however, the...more

Do Treble Damages Mean Treble Rescission?

North Carolina law awards treble damages for violations of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 “if damages are assessed.” A recent Fourth Circuit decision asks this question: If a plaintiff seeks rescission, and if the defendant’s...more

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