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Ohio Supreme Court Aids Consumers

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A recent decision by the Ohio Supreme Court aids consumers who have been vitimized by unfair business practices. The case-Whitaker v. M.T. Automotive, Inc, 2006-Ohio-5481, held that a consumer who is harmed by the unfair or deceptive trade practices of a supplier is not only entitled to recover actual economic losses, but can also recover noneconomic damages that result from violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. Such noneconmic damages include emotional distress, inconvenience and public embarrassement.

In the case, the plaintiff purchased a used pick-up truck from a dealership. After entering into a binding lease agreement, the dealership said the plaintiff did not qualify for financing under the original agreement and then repossessed the truck and did not refund the plaintiffs downpayment. Plaintiff sued the dealership for various Consumer Sales Practices Act violations, because he had sold his old truck and with the new truck being repossessed, he was left without transportation for a number of weeks.