Consumer Protection in Oregon and Washington
What Types of Consumer Protection Cases Does
Tollefsen Law Take?
TL cannot take even a fraction of the cases offered to it.
Most are under $10,000 and rarely justify the legal expense. It
often takes an hour or more to evaluate the case to see if the law
was broken. The consumer then wants the lawyer to take the case on a
contingency fee basis. Even though the law allows attorney fees,
judges rarely allow full recovery of the lawyer's time. So the
lawyer must work on the case for a year or more and then accept a
reduced fee. Consumer Protection cases rarely make business sense
for law firms.
Unless it is an hourly fee case or a class
action, TL rarely takes consumer protection cases. The information
on our website is to give callers a place to start investigation of
Even so some consumers are incensed and want
justice. TLO does not have the free time to address all the
telephone calls and email. But if you feel you must do something,
here are some choices:
Contact the Attorney General consumer divisions:
Take it to small claims court where no attorneys
are allowed ($5,000 limit in WA; $5,000 in OR)
Fraud on Consumers - Protection by
Originally the law of the United States,
inherited from England, did not go very far to protect the
consumer. The legal maxim was "buyer beware" and the general
feeling that it was the duty of the buyer to investigate and be
careful. The law only protected a buyer if the defect was
intentionally hidden or the facts of the case shocked the judge.
The "consumer protection" law was primarily created by the judges
using the precedent of other reported cases. As society in the
United States changed and became more urbanized, the skill of the
buyer decreased. It was easier to sell tainted meat to the city
folks than to a farmer. As the buyers complained to the
legislators, consumer protection laws developed.
Both Washington and Oregon have detailed
consumer protection laws. Some laws are specific
to industries, like the automobile lemon law, and others are more
Types of Fraud on Consumers
Motor Vehicle Sales
Consumer Protection Cases
and Related Issues
violations of Washington's CPA
"Unfairness" in Consumer Protection
Washington Consumer Protection Laws
Should I sue?