Two bills under consideration as the end of the session nears contain significant changes to Colorado’s Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”). The bills broaden remedies, make more conduct a breach of the CCPA, and include purely private transactions in the type of conduct that falls within the scope of the CCPA. The bills are House Bill 19-1289 (“House Bill”) and Senate Bill 19-237 (“Senate Bill”). As of April 29, 2019, the House Bill has passed the House. The Senate Bill has not progressed past introduction. It is unclear if both houses of the legislature will have an opportunity to vote on either or both bills before the session ends.
The House Bill makes a person liable for CCPA violations based on conduct engaged in “recklessly,” not just knowing conduct. No definition of the term “recklessly” is provided in the House Bill, but Colorado’s attorney general testified “recklessly” “means a company or person acted with reckless disregard for the truth.” (Page 2). No explanation was given of what the word “reckless” in the definition of “recklessly” meant in this context.
Another provision of the House Bill adds a “catch all” prohibition that labels as a deceptive trade practice knowingly or recklessly engaging in any unfair, unconscionable, deceptive, deliberately misleading, false or fraudulent act or practice. There is no indication how a person could “recklessly” engage in “deliberately misleading” acts or practices.