In 1973, the Kansas Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) was passed, helping consumers throughout the state by providing greater protection against unethical business practices. Prior to this time, Kansas consumers were only able to fight against these types of practices using the Buyer Protection Act, which was extremely limited in its scope.
If you feel that you’ve been a victim of unethical or deceptive business practices, please be aware of what types of protections you are afforded under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act. The following information will provide you with an introduction to this important act, but for a full evaluation of a specific case, you need to speak with an experienced consumer law attorney.
Easing the Burden of Proof
One of the major advantages for Kansas consumers is the shift of the burden of proof, giving consumers a reasonable chance to win their case. In order to win a case, the KCPA requires that claims are proven by “a preponderance of the evidence” rather than clear and convincing evidence. To put it in simpler terms, you need to prove you were wronged to a reasonable degree rather than beyond a shadow of doubt.
Misrepresentations of Products
The KCPA also legislates with regard to misrepresentations of products and services. Even if a given business isn’t intentionally misrepresenting their products, the jury can find them in violation of the act. If it can be reasonably shown that the company was making false or misleading representations, they are in violation of the KCPA.
A simple example of this would be when an auto manufacturer says they offer a “bumper-to-bumper warranty,” then attempts to exclude a specific faulty part when a consumer reports a problem. Any reasonable consumer would expect this warranty would cover everything on the car for the given period of time.
Attorney & Private Enforcement
The KCPA has increased the power of the individual consumer relative to deceptive sales practices. Private enforcement is important in this regard, as governmental agencies are simply not equipped to handle the large volume of consumer transactions. Therefore, attorneys licensed in the state of Kansas can be effective in bringing a private cause of action on behalf of aggrieved consumers with a reasonable chance of success.
Please look for the second part of this brief series on the KCPA, which will provide more useful details regarding this important act.