The Kuhn Law Firm

Minnesota Consumer Protection Act Amended to Provide Private Right of Action

In many ways, up until the recent amendments by the 2023 Minnesota Legislature, Minnesota consumer protection laws have not been useful for aggrieved consumers. One of the reasons is that consumers, in many instances, did not have a clear right to bring a lawsuit if they were the only one injured by a wrongful act.

Minnesota’s Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”) contains many consumer protection laws addressing specific industries including automobiles, farm equipment, repairs, and senior citizens. Minn. Stat. §§ 325F et seq.

Within the Minnesota CPA is a section known as the Minnesota Consumer Fraud Act, and can be found at Minn. Stat. §§ 325F.68 – 325F.695. Up until recently, this statute could not typically be used by a consumer whose injury was isolated. In other words, the person had to claim that the public at large would benefit from the lawsuit, which was a difficult hurdle.

In the 2023 legislative session this statute was amended to provide a private right of action to a single person harmed as explained more fully below:

Minnesota Statutes 2022, section 325F.70, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 3.

Private enforcement.

(a) In addition to the remedies otherwise provided by law, a consumer injured by a violation of sections 325F.68 to 325F.70, in connection with a sale of merchandise for personal, family, household, or agricultural purposes, may bring a civil action and recover damages, together with costs and disbursements, including costs of investigation and reasonable attorney fees, and receive other equitable relief as determined by the court. An action brought under this section benefits the public.

(b) For the purposes of this subdivision:

(1) “consumer” means a natural person or family farmer;

(2) “family farmer” means a person or persons operating a family farm; and

(3) “family farm” has the meaning given in section 116B.02, subdivision 6.


In particular, now Minn. Stat. Ann. § 325F.69(1) broadly prohibits: “Fraud, misrepresentation, deceptive or unfair practices. The act, use, or employment by any person of any fraud, unfair or unconscionable practice, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, misleading statement or deceptive practice, with the intent that others rely thereon in connection with the sale of any merchandise, whether or not any person has in fact been misled, deceived, or damaged thereby, is enjoinable as provided in section 325F.70.”

What is more, “Subd. 8. Unfair or unconscionable acts or practices; standard of proof. For purposes of this section, an unfair method of competition or an unfair or unconscionable act or practice is any method of competition, act, or practice that: (1) offends public policy as established by the statutes, rules, or common law of Minnesota; (2) is unethical, oppressive, or unscrupulous; or (3) is substantially injurious to consumers.”

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