Illinois Consumer Fraud Act Claims
The Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act is designed to protect consumers, borrowers, and businessmen against business fraud, unfair methods of competition (unfair competition), and unfair or deceptive practices in the conduct of trade or business. (815 ILCS 505/1, et seq.).
Violations of the Act include the use of any deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or concealment of facts in the conduct of trade or commerce. (815 ILCS 505/2).
Elements of an Illinois Consumer Fraud Act Claim
The elements of a private cause of action under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act are:
(1) a deceptive act or practice by the defendant;
(2) the defendant intended the plaintiff to rely on the deception;
(3) the deception occurred in the course of conduct involving trade or commerce; and
(4) actual damages to the plaintiff proximately caused by the deception.
A successful plaintiff in an Illinois Consumer Fraud Act action may recover both compensatory and punitive damages. A plaintiff may also obtain an award for attorney’s fees under the Consumer Fraud Act, which may not be available for common law fraud actions.
Limitations on Illinois Consumer Fraud Act Actions
An action under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act must be filed within three years after the cause of action accrued.