Arizona’s Consumer Fraud Act prohibits “any deception, deceptive or unfair act or practice, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact with intent that others rely on such concealment, suppression or omission, in connection with the sale or advertisement of any merchandise.” ARS §44-1522(A). Typically, the Consumer Fraud Act is used by state law enforcement agencies to prevent fraud in advertising and to punish those businesses who engage in deceptive business practices. However, the Arizona Supreme Court has held that the Consumer Fraud Act also provides individual consumers with a private right to bring a civil claim for damages caused by violation of the act. See, Sellinger v. Freeway Mobile Homes Sales, Inc., 110 Ariz. 573 (1974). As a result, when an individual suffers injury caused by deceptive advertising other misrepresentations, he or she can bring a lawsuit and seek money damages for those injuries. In order to prevail on a Consumer Fraud Act claim, the injured consumer must prove that the manufacturer 1) made a false promise or misrepresentation; 2) in connection with the sale or advertisement of merchandise; and 3) that the consumer’s injuries were caused by reliance on the misrepresentation. Dunlap v. Jimmy GMC of Tucson, Inc., 136 Ariz. 338 (App. 1983).
In 2015, the Arizona Court of Appeals specifically extended this private right of action to defective drug claims. Watts v. Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., 236 Ariz. 511 (App. 2015). As a result, a person injured by a defective drug can not only sue the manufacturer for the way the drug was manufactured but also for the information (or lack of information) the manufacturer disseminated to the public. This is a significant right for consumers that in certain situations can dramatically increase the chances of success in a defective drug case.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective drug or other defective product, call attorney Brian Allen at (480) 461-5335 or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation to discuss your rights and options.
Please note: This subject matter of this blog post is subject to further judicial review and could change if the Arizona Supreme Court decides to hear the case.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Consumer Fraud and Defective Drug Injury Claims, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Brian T. Allen at 480.461.5335, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.