Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1315 Posts and Counting

Does UTPCPL Apply to Real Estate Sales?

No. 1,197 BENNETT v. A.T. MASTERPIECE HOMES, 40 A.ed 145, 2012 Pa. Super. 60 (2012). SCHWARTZ v. ROCKEY, 593 Pa. 536 (2007) At the present time, it is firmly established in case law that the Unfair Trade Practices Consumer Protection Law, 73 P.S. § 201 et seq. may be applied in real estate transactions.  The […]

UTPCPL Seminar at CCAC a Success.

No. 1,195 Last night, August 3, I gave a 3 hour Continuing Legal Education Seminar on Unfair Trade Practices Consumer Protection Law Litigation.  Based upon reaction from the students, lawyers earning their CLE credits, the seminar was a success. I’ll be giving it again on August 13 at the CCAC West Hills at 6:30 PM. […]

UTPCPL Does Not Apply to Physicians Rendering Medical Services or Attorneys Performing Professional Services.

No. 1,194 WALTER v. MAGEE-WOMENS HOSPITAL, 867 A. 2d 400 (Pa. Super, 2005). BEYERS v. FORCENO & ORANGIO, P.C., 937 A.2d 1082 (Pa. Supreme Ct. 2007) GLOVER v. UDREN LAW OFFICES, P.C. et. al. 92 A.3d 24 (Pa. Super. 2014). The Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) provides a remedy for unfair methods […]

Does a Consumer Have a Remedy When He Learns that a Used Computer Was Grossly Overpriced?

No. 1,175 Is there anything I can do about a rent-a-center agreement?   Q:I went to rent a center for a computer, the retail price they advertised was $1199. I thought that meant that is what it was worth, maybe a little extra for the fact that it’s rent to own. Anyways i found out […]

Can the practice of “Astroturfing” be prosecuted under the UTPCPL?

No. 1,173                   According to Dictionary.com: “Astroturfing is the deceptive tactic of simulating grassroots support for a product, cause, etc., undertaken by people or organizations with an interest in shaping public opinion.” When artificial grass came on the scene, it was used in the enclosed Astrodome.  Hence the name. Astroturfing can include paying people to write favorable on-line reviews in websites where customers report on products and services for the benefit of […]

Is the Cost of Hiring an Attorney an “Ascertainable Loss” under UTPCPL?

Grimes filed a six-count complaint, including a claim for damages under the UTPCPL catch-all provision. In addition to other requirements, a UTPCPL plaintiff must prove that, as a result of the UTPCPL violation, he or she suffered an “ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal.” Plaintiff plead that she had incurred the cost of retaining an attorney. The Superior Court held that such an expenditure qualified as an ascertainable loss. The Supreme Court granted a petition for allowance of appeal and reversed the Superior Court holding.


The central issue on appeal, according to the Superior Court, was whether individual, justifiable reliance is required for private actions under Section 201-9.2 of the UTPCPL.

Is the Plaintiff Required to Prove a UTPCPL Fraud Case Under the Preponderance of the Evidence Standard or the Clear and Convincing Evidence Standard?

No. 1,163 ROBERT J. BOEHM AND BEVERLY LYNN BOEHM V. RIVERSOURCE LIFE INSURANCE CO. AND JAMES DAY II., 2015 PA Super 120. Robert Boehm and his wife brought suit under, inter alia, the Unfair Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act (UTPCPL) against Riversource Life Insurance. The Boehm’s alleged fraudulent misrepresentation in connection with the sale of […]

The UTPCPL Catch-all Provision and Common Law Fraud.

The Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) contains 20 specifically enumerated sections where its provisions apply and one “catch-all” provision. The catch-all provision is set forth in 73 Pa.S.A. § 201-2(4)(xxi).

UTPCPL Authorizes Private Suit under Dog Purchaser Protection Provisions, but not the Award of a Civil Penalty.

The Dog provisions mandate that sellers supply certain information to buyers of dogs. In particular, if a dog is represented to be registered or registerable, the seller must provide the name and address of the breeder and information relating to the dam and sire of the dog’s litter. 73 P.S. § 201-9.3(f)(1). Except under certain circumstances that do not exist in this case, all documentation necessary to effect the registration of the dog must be furnished by the seller within one hundred twenty days of the sale. 73 P.S. § 201-9.3(f)(2). A seller’s failure to provide the required information affords the buyer a choice of two remedies: return the dog for a refund of the full purchase price, not including sales tax; or retain the dog and receive a refund in an amount equal to fifty per cent of the purchase price. 73 P.S. § 201-9.3(f)(3).

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CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 40 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.


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