Caribbean Cruise Lines (“Caribbean”) filed a complaint against Palm Beach County’s Better Business Bureau (“BBB”) seeking damages and injunctive relief for defamation and violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (“FDUTPA”). The trial court granted BBB’s motion to dismiss based on the lack of standing.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal noted the underpinnings of the trial court order was the fact that BBB was not a consumer, and thus, it denied Caribbean standing to seek relief under FDUTPA. The Fourth District Court of Appeal cited to the 2001 Amendment to FDUPTA wherein “consumer” was changed to “person,” and found the legislative change increased the reach of FDUPTA to other entities. While Caribbean had standing, it would nonetheless have to prove an injury or detriment to consumer(s).  (Emphasis in Original).

Editor’s Note:  This is probably the first appellate decision in Florida applying FDUPTA to a business.  The damage component(s), however, identified by the Fourth District Court of Appeal would appear to limit the scope of the decision, or alternatively, require consumer cooperation limiting FDUTPA actions by businesses.

The entire opinion may be found at:

http://www.4dca.org/opinions/June%202015/06-03-15/4D13-3916.op.pdf

 

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