The Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act – 93A

By |November 30, 2015|Consumer Protection|0 Comments|

Massachusetts state law provides strong protections for consumers who have been subject to unfair or deceptive commercial practices. The Consumer Protection Act, also referred to as “93A” for the chapter in which it appears in Massachusetts laws (see text here), authorizes both individuals and the Attorney General to bring claims against offending businesses. When bringing a claim as an individual, the process begins with a 93A demand letter which outlines the nature of the complaint to the offending party. There are some technical requirements to this letter, so it is best to consult with an attorney prior to sending one.

The opposing party has thirty days to address your claim; if they fail to do so, you may then file a lawsuit against them in court. Should you go to court, 93A provides that successful plaintiffs are entitled to double or triple damages, attorneys fees and other costs. This potential exposure to enhanced penalties encourages settlement within the initial 30-day window. (On the flip side, if the court finds that you were offered a reasonable settlement, you will be limited to collecting just that.) 93A laws apply to commercial transactions occurring within Massachusetts and to companies that conduct substantial business in the state.

The Consumer Protection Act also applies to matters involving insurance companies. The insurance industry is highly regulated in Massachusetts, and state laws (see text here) outline what constitutes unfair and deceptive acts regarding insurance matters. Some such acts include: failing to acknowledge claims, failing to investigate claims, and failing to effectuate prompt and equitable settlement. If your claim isn’t being handled promptly or fairly by an insurance company, call me today for assistance.

While it may seem daunting to take on a company that has wronged you, be it a local shop or a large multi-national corporation, the law gives you tools to help level the playing field. With an aggressive attorney on your side, your claims are more likely to be resolved quickly and fairly.