Removing Triple Damages: Consumer Lawyer Auto Fraud, Changes to The Consumer Fraud Act.

Removing Triple Damages: Consumer Lawyer Auto Fraud

These proposed changes of the Consumer Fraud Act are wrought with problems. First, why are mandatory triple damages being removed?

The point of this provision (tripling damages) is to have some mandatory punishment for those who violate the Consumer Fraud Act, some economic disincentive for people or businesses to disobey the law and not rip people off. There is a mechanism to assure that the law is applied evenly and identically to everyone. The end result of this provision is to remove disincentives or penalties for those violating the law, which therefore encourages the conduct that the law is trying to stop. Let's try and look at something similar to try to see the results of reducing penalties.

What are the penalties for drunk driving? Severe? Why?
ANSWER: We do not want people to drive while drunk because of the economic cost to those injured and the general policy that people should not be injured in such a reckless fashion. The penalties for third-time drunk driving are a MANDATORY ten-year loss of license and jail. What if the penalties were reduced to the discretion of the trial judge or if it were less than ten years' loss of license?

If the damages are automatically not tripled, the offending party is less likely in the beginning to avoid the conduct that is prohibited. By what standard is the trial judge supposed to triple the damages? Why limit it at triple damages if it is at the option of the trial judge? Make it 10 times the damages so the worse offenders receive worse penalties than those committing less offensive violations or less numerous violations.

Why not let the jury decide the penalties?

This is ANTI-CONSUMER legislation in every way and will cost the consumer money, probably a lot of money.

Call the appropriate assembly person and let then know your thoughts.