Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Tuesday, January 9, 2001


Austin business accused of misleading consumers

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn announced the filing of a civil lawsuit against Oak Outlet, L.C. doing business as Classic Oak Outlet in Austin. The lawsuit alleges that the business has misled consumers and violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, regarding its "Going Out of Business" sales. The suit was filed in Travis County district court.

"If you are misleading consumers and breaking the law, you will pay the price," said Attorney General Cornyn. "Operating a business illegally will not be tolerated in Texas."

On Oct. 26 of last year, Oak Outlet received a permit allowing it to run a Going Out of Business sale for 120 days. By law, the sale could not begin until the day after the permit was issued. However, Oak Outlet invited shoppers to its sale that it advertised as starting Oct. 26, a day earlier than it was legally able to start. Advertisements were placed in the Austin American-Statesman that informed the public of the sale and that it would last between Oct. 30 and Nov. 5, 2000. That was not accurate, as Oak Outlet continued its sale after this period.

The lawsuit also alleges that when Oak Outlet obtained its permit for the Going out of Business Sale, it failed to supply the court with a detailed listing of its inventory which is a violation of the Texas Business and Commerce Code.

Additionally, it is alleged that the company purchased and sold new furniture after its Going Out of Business sale began, which is a violation of the law.

The Attorney General's lawsuit asks the court for a temporary and permanent injunction, preventing Oak Outlet from conducting business in an illegal and deceptive manner. The lawsuit also asks the court to assess civil penalties of $2,000 per violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

This lawsuit is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Pedro Perez in the Attorney General's consumer protection division.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, Tom Kelley or Jane Dees at (512) 463-2050.
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