New Haven Attorneys For Unfair Trade Practices Litigation (CUTPA)
The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, known as “CUTPA,” prohibits unfair competition and unfair and deceptive acts and practices in trade and commerce. Since it was first adopted in Connecticut in 1973, CUTPA has become a fixture of commercial litigation in Connecticut. The statute prohibits unfair competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in trade or commerce. Unlike the usual rule that each party pays its own legal fees and expenses, CUTPA provides that a successful plaintiff may recover its attorneys’ fees and expenses from the defendant. CUTPA also provides that a successful plaintiff who establishes that the defendant acted with reckless indifference to the rights of others or in an intentional and wanton violation of those rights may recover punitive damages.
The language of the CUTPA statute is very general and there are many complex issues concerning what conduct is in trade or commerce, what constitutes unfair competition, what constitutes an unfair act or practice, what constitutes a deceptive act or practice and what remedies are available if a violation of the statute is established. Some courts have held that conduct that does not rise to the level of an antitrust violation may still constitute a violation of CUTPA. There are more than 3000 state and federal decisions in cases involving CUTPA, the great majority of which are not officially reported. Although a number of states have statutes similar to CUTPA, it has been said that Connecticut has the “most litigation — by far — concerning unfairness under the state unfair trade practices laws.”
If you have a question about a commercial dispute with CUTPA implications, call one of our experienced commercial litigators.