Washington Law Review
Private Suits Under Washington's Consumer Protection Act: The Public Interest Requirement
This comment discusses the current state of the law in the area of private remedies for unfair business practices and focuses on two questions: (1) Is the public interest requirement for private suits under the Act justified? (2) What are the appropriate tests for finding an effect on the public interest? The comment concludes that the statutory purpose and historical context justify the public interest requirement but that the Washington courts have not yet developed a sufficiently specific test for determining when the requirement has been met. A specific test is therefore suggested to fulfill the appropriate function of the private remedy. The proposed test requires the presence of (1) unequal bargaining power, (2) solicitation or public offering, and (3) the probability of repetition of the transaction which forms the basis of the complaint. This three-part test explains the results in the Washington cases and adheres to the proper scope of the private remedy. The specificity of this test should aid both courts and private litigants in their determination whether a given transaction sufficiently affects the public interest to bring it within the Act's protection.
Carol S. Gown,
Private Suits Under Washington's Consumer Protection Act: The Public Interest Requirement,
54 Wash. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol54/iss4/3