2016 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 42 - Business, Selling, Trading and Collection Practices
Chapter 735a - Unfair Trade Practices
Section 42-110b - Unfair trade practices prohibited. Legislative intent.

Universal Citation: CT Gen Stat § 42-110b (2016)

(a) No person shall engage in unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.

(b) It is the intent of the legislature that in construing subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner and the courts of this state shall be guided by interpretations given by the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts to Section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 USC 45(a)(1)), as from time to time amended.

(c) The commissioner may, in accordance with chapter 54, establish by regulation acts, practices or methods which shall be deemed to be unfair or deceptive in violation of subsection (a) of this section. Such regulations shall not be inconsistent with the rules, regulations and decisions of the federal trade commission and the federal courts in interpreting the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

(d) It is the intention of the legislature that this chapter be remedial and be so construed.

(P.A. 73-615, S. 2, 16; P.A. 75-618, S. 1, 11; P.A. 76-303, S. 1, 4.)

History; P.A. 75-618 rephrased provisions for clarity and consistency; P.A. 76-303 deleted provision in Subsec. (a) which established unfair or deceptive acts and methods of competition as those in rules, regulations or decisions interpreting Federal Trade Commission Act by Federal Trade Commission or federal courts and in regulations of commissioner and state courts, inserting new Subsec. (b) in its stead, relettered former Subsec. (b) and added Subsec. (d).

Cited. 177 C. 304; 184 C. 607; 186 C. 507; Id., 507; 190 C. 510; Id., 528; 191 C. 484; 192 C. 558; Id., 747; 193 C. 208; 199 C. 651; 200 C. 172; Id., 360; 202 C. 234; 203 C. 342; Id., 475; 205 C. 479; 207 C. 204; Id., 575; 208 C. 620; 213 C. 665; 214 C. 303; 215 C. 590; 216 C. 65; 217 C. 404; 219 C. 644; 221 C. 356; 223 C. 80; Id., 761; 224 C. 231; 225 C. 566; Id., 705; 226 C. 773; 229 C. 479; Id., 842; 230 C. 148; Id., 486; 231 C. 707; 232 C. 167; Id., 480; Id., 527; 236 C. 845; 238 C. 183; Id., 216; 240 C. 300; 241 C. 278; Id., 630. Plaintiff who purchased computer with preinstalled software from a retailer cannot recover from software manufacturer because plaintiff's claimed injuries are too indirect and remote from the manufacturer's allegedly anticompetitive conduct. 260 C. 59. In absence of any evidence of substantial injury to consumers or to plaintiff, the existence of exclusivity provisions between defendant newspaper and comic strip syndicators does not constitute probable cause to believe that defendant has violated CUTPA since such provisions are customary in the newspaper industry, procompetitive and presumptively legal. 261 C. 673. Record supported trial court's finding that defendants' actions did not constitute a CUTPA violation, notwithstanding their unworkmanlike construction of plaintiff's home. 295 C. 214. Contractor who is owner and president of business entity can be held individually liable for unfair and unscrupulous conduct on behalf of entity. 317 C. 565. Insurance company practice of requiring staff motor vehicle physical damage appraisers to use hourly labor rates agreed on by the insurance company and auto body shops not an unfair trade practice; Regulation of Connecticut State Agencies requiring appraisers to approach appraisal of damaged property without prejudice against or favoritism toward any party did not prohibit such insurance company practices. Id., 602.

Cited. 11 CA 289; 13 CA 194; 14 CA 425; 15 CA 101; 17 CA 421; 19 CA 379; 20 CA 625; 21 CA 185; 23 CA 137; Id., 585; 27 CA 59; Id., 810; 28 CA 491; Id., 660; Id., 760; 31 CA 443; Id., 682; 32 CA 644; 33 CA 294; Id., 575; 40 CA 23; 41 CA 19; Id., 437; 42 CA 124. Discussed re res judicata and federal litigation. 49 CA 582. Single act of misconduct is sufficient to support a CUTPA claim; federal law sets a floor, not a ceiling. 72 CA 342. With respect to CUTPA, clear and convincing evidence is not the appropriate standard of proof whenever claims of tortious conduct require proof of willful, wrongful or unlawful acts; the ordinary preponderance of the evidence standard is appropriate. 99 CA 719. A landlord-tenant relationship can be the basis for a CUTPA claim, but there must be some nexus with a public interest, some violation of a concept of what is fair, some immoral, unethical, oppressive or unscrupulous business practice or some practice that offends public policy. 126 CA 829. Defendant's theft of plaintiff's funds constituted conversion and theft, and court properly found such act qualified as immoral, unethical, oppressive and unscrupulous and therefore constituted an unfair or deceptive act proscribed by CUTPA. 136 CA 99. Negligent misrepresentations, if accompanied by one or more sufficient aggravating factors, suffice for recovery of damages pursuant to CUTPA. 156 CA 750. Violation of section established where record evidence showed knowing and intentional filing of manifestly excessive mechanic's lien primarily for an improper purpose and defendant suffered an ascertainable loss in responding to the mechanic's lien. 157 CA 139.

Cited. 36 CS 183; 38 CS 455; 39 CS 78; 40 CS 336; 41 CS 130; Id., 484; Id., 575; 42 CS 198; 44 CS 274.

Subsec. (a):

Cited. 192 C. 124; 216 C. 200; 229 C. 213; 232 C. 559; 241 C. 24; 242 C. 236; 243 C. 17. Although purely intracorporate conflicts are not covered by CUTPA, actions outside scope of the employment relationship may be covered. Id., 355. Defendant did not engage in deceptive practice prohibited by CUTPA by intentionally failing to disclose until after fall catalogs were printed and mailed that it did not intend to provide financing for deferred billing program; since courts have held that a failure to disclose can be deceptive only if, in light of all the circumstances, there is a duty to disclose, the letter of intent, under facts of the case, did not give rise to any statutory, regulatory or contractual duty on defendant's part to repudiate timely its commitment to provide financing for deferred billing program. 274 C. 33. Hospital decisions regarding physicians' privileges do not fall within ambit of CUTPA. 296 C. 315. Economic loss doctrine does not bar a CUTPA claim arising out of a breach of contract, including breach of a contract for the sale of goods covered by the Uniform Commercial Code, when plaintiff has alleged that the breach was accompanied by intentional, reckless, unethical or unscrupulous conduct. 310 C. 375.

Cited. 13 CA 208; 22 CA 464; 23 CA 227; 26 CA 203; 27 CA 628; Id., 706; 30 CA 493; 35 CA 455; 38 CA 859; 43 CA 419; Id., 756. While existence of a duty is not a prerequisite for finding of a CUTPA violation, defendant did not violate CUTPA by declining to do that which it simply was not required to do. 64 CA 417. Failure to disclose can be deceptive only if, in light of all the circumstances, there is a duty to disclose. 78 CA 760. Representing on numerous occasions that work will be performed by one subcontractor known to perform at a certain master level while knowing that the work will be performed by a different subcontractor not of the same master level constitutes a deceptive act. 113 CA 509. A practice may be unfair because of the degree to which it meets one of the following criteria or because to a lesser extent it meets all three: (1) Whether the practice, without necessarily having been previously considered unlawful, offends public policy as it has been established by statutes, common law or otherwise; (2) whether it is immoral, unethical, oppressive or unscrupulous; or (3) whether it causes substantial injury to consumers, competitors or other businesspersons. 114 CA 262. A CUTPA violation may not be alleged for activities that are incidental to an entity's primary trade or commerce, and subject transaction was incidental to primary business and thus fell outside purview of CUTPA. 116 CA 483. Contractor's failure to obtain certificate of registration under Sec. 20-417b and not disclosing that fact to plaintiff was a CUTPA violation as a matter of law, but plaintiff failed to show that the violation resulted in an ascertainable loss. 121 CA 165. Allegations involving purely intracorporate matters fail to satisfy CUTPA's requirement that a defendant's conduct implicate trade or commerce. 123 CA 512. Defendant land owner's conduct, in inducing plaintiff land purchaser to pursue design plans and the purchase of land after the original term of their reservation agreement had expired then increasing the price of the land in contravention of that agreement, deprived plaintiff of the benefit of his bargain and was unscrupulous and unethical and thus constituted a deceptive and unfair trade practice. Id., 800. Under CUTPA, general principles of agency law are applicable to determine whether to hold a principal liable for the acts of its agent, and trial court properly imputed to defendant the acts of its attorney and real estate agent for purpose of establishing a CUTPA violation. 125 CA 678. CUTPA is inapplicable in case where sellers of real property were not primarily engaged in the business of selling real property. 132 CA 272. CUTPA is inapplicable in malpractice actions against accountants, except in cases relating to the commercial or entrepreneurial aspects of an accounting practice. 142 CA 684. Court need not pierce corporate veil or find a corporate officer committed fraud to determine officer personally violated CUTPA via direct participation in tortious conduct; although CUTPA is primarily a statutory cause of action, it is equally recognized that CUTPA claims may arise from underlying causes of action, such as contract violations or torts. 144 CA 241; judgment affirmed in part, see 317 C. 565.

Radio station's use of approximation of its FM radio frequency, which was same number as that used by another station, does not constitute an unfair trade practice. 35 CS 1. Cited. 43 CS 431; 44 CS 569; 45 CS 11. Motion to strike complaint alleging unfair trade practice denied in case involving personal injury to tenant when he fell on ice on the outside stairs of defendant landlord's apartment house and plaintiff alleges that the ice was due to the absence of gutters. Id., 267.

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