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Chapter 93


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What is Chapter 93A?
Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act
What does the MCPA provide?
public and private remedies to people injured as a result of

unfair methods of competition

unfair or deceptive acts or practices in conduct of any trade or commerce
How can one get relief under the MCPA?
Through a tort or contracts action
Requirements for Chapter 93A claim
1. transaction in issue must occur primarily and substantially in MA
--this is a defense with burden on D

2) business transaction cannot be completely private

3) must be within statute of limitations
When does a transaction occur primarily and substantially in MA?
Consider three factors:

1. where d committed deceptive practice of act

2. where p recieved and acted upon the deceptive statemetns or acts

3. where p's losses occurred as a result of the acts
What type of business transactions are covered?
Transactions where one party is a business.

NOT purpose private transactions.
Covered under 93A?
1. landlord v. tenant
2. client v. atty
3. individual seller v. individual buyer
4. partner of firm v. partner of firm
1. yes
2. yes
3. no
4. no
What section of 93A are the following brought under?

1. business sues business
2. individual sues business
1. Section 11

2. Section 9

**must file under correct section, otherwise dismissed
When to use 93A on bar exam?
Apply at least once. Probably in contracts or torts question.
Maybe property question.
What does section 9 before filing Chapter 93A suit?
Demand letter 30 days before filing suit. Must include
- identity of claimant
- express reference to 93A and MCPA
- assertion that claimant's rights as consumer violated
- assertion that d acted in unfair or deceptive manner
- reasonable description of act or practice and injuries suffered
- relief requested
- expectation of settlement offer w/in 30 days
- assertion that multiple damags and attys fees will be pursued if relief is denied
What is unfair or deceptive practice?
conduct that could reasonably be found to have caused a person to act differently from the way she otherwise would have acted
Who is a person under 93A?
unincorporated or incorporated associations
Does MTCA give rise to jury rt?
no, but court has discretion if requested.
What is statute of limitations on protection of consumers through ch. 93A claim?
4 years

UNLESS accompanying claim has shorter sol, then use shorter sol

e.g. if 93A claim accompanies tort claim with 3 year sol, then 93A claim has 3 year sol
What damages are available under 93A?
1. statutory damages (value of item)
--must be proved under section 11
--financial loss need not be proved under section 9

2. attys fees and costs
--unless offer of settlement timely and reasonable

3. double or treble damages if
--use or employment of practice was wilfull or knowing violation of Ch. 93A
--refusal to grant relief made in bad faith with knowledge or reason to know that act or practice violated Ch 93A
How does defendant's making of reasonable settlement offer affect damages under 93A?
If court determines that d made reasonably settlement offer for injury suffered,

recovery limited to relief tendered and NOT multiple damages.
What additional is needed for successful claim under Section 11?
A level of rascality that would raise an eyebrow in those inured to rough and tumble business world.

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