Section 75-1.1

News & Analysis as of

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

Reliance, and Why No One Likes Shopping for Used Cars

If you’ve ever shopped for a used car, you’ve probably been asked to sign a document that defines your warranty rights. Sometimes a used-car seller might make no warranty at all, asking you to agree that you’re buying the car...more

The North Carolina Supreme Court Weighs in Again on Reliance

We begin 2016 by studying a new decision on a familiar issue: the degree of reliance required in a claim under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. North Carolina law now holds that a plaintiff who makes a 75-1.1 claim based on a...more

The Year in Review

As 2015 comes to a close, we thank you, our readers, for your interest and support. When we started this blog, we sensed that businesses, judges, and lawyers had a watchful eye on N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. Thank you for...more

Pleading Reliance in Unfair-Trade-Practices Claims

Two years ago, the North Carolina Supreme Court held that a plaintiff who sues under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 based on a misrepresentation must show actual and reasonable reliance on the misrepresentation....more

Federal Opinion Lays Out Categories of Unfair-Trade-Practice Claims

That five-category structure has now appeared in a judicial opinion for the first time, thanks to a recent opinion from Judge Louise Flanagan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina....more

Can Contract Ambiguity Cause Liability for Unfair Trade Practices?

Most of the time, a contract breach—even if intentional—does not violate N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. A contract breach, however, can turn into a 75-1.1 violation if the breach is accompanied by “substantial aggravating...more

When Is a Breach of a Covenant Not to Compete Also Unfair or Deceptive?

Next Monday, August 31, the North Carolina Supreme Court will hear arguments in an important business-versus-business case. Beverage Systems of the Carolinas v. Associated Beverage Repair (No. 316A14) includes two...more

Claims for Deceptive Practices Must Now Be Alleged in Detail (at Least in Federal Court)

A federal court in North Carolina has held that certain claims under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 require especially detailed allegations. This groundbreaking decision will have major consequences for plaintiffs who pursue 75-1.1...more

Unfinished Negotiations Might Generate Treble Damages

The North Carolina Business Court has recognized a new type of claim: a claim for failing to negotiate in good faith. Raising the stakes further, the court has held that failing to negotiate in good faith could lead to treble...more

Mortgage Servicing and Unfair Trade Practices

When can mortgage servicing and related debt-collection activities violate N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1? Two recent cases provide some answers....more

More Developments on Section 75-1.1 and the Economic-Loss Rule

Our appetites, of course, are always whetted when section 75-1.1, the economic-loss rule, and the “substantial aggravating circumstances” doctrine intersect....more

The UNC Former Student-Athletes’ Litigation: The Defense Enters the Field

We wrote last month about the lawsuit filed against the University of North Carolina and the NCAA by former UNC student-athletes Rashanda McCants and Devon Ramsey....more

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