CHAPTER 113

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 168

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 25 OF TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE TO PROVIDE A PRIVATE CAUSE OF ACTION AND ALLOW FOR ADDITIONAL FRAUD PROTECTIONS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS AND DISABLED PERSONS

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :

WHEREAS, the Delaware Supreme Court has long recognized that individuals may bring private causes of action under Delaware’s consumer fraud statute; and

WHEREAS, senior citizens are frequent victims of consumer fraud and are unusually vulnerable to such fraud; and

WHEREAS, Delaware’s senior citizens should have additional tools at their disposal to deter individuals from attempting to victimize them through consumer fraud;

NOW THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend §2525 of Title 6 of the Delaware Code by inserting in the title after the section number and before the word "Savings" the language, "Private cause of action;".

Section 2. Further amend §2525 of Title 6 of the Delaware Code by designating the existing section language as subsection (b) and inserting a new subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) A private cause of action shall be available to any victim of a violation of this subchapter. Such cause of action may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction in this State without prior action by the Attorney General as provided for in this subchapter."

Section 3. Amend §2583 of Title 6 of the Delaware Code by adding the language, "; enhanced penalties" after the word "action" and before the period (.) at the end of the existing section title.

Section 4. Further amend §2583 of Title 6 of the Delaware Code by designating the first sentence of the existing section as subsection (a), the second sentence of the existing section as subsection (c), and inserting a new subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) If a private cause of action is brought by the victim of a violation of this subchapter, and said victim was 65 years of age or older or a disabled person when the violation occurred, the victim shall be entitled to recover three times the amount of his or her compensatory damages if a violation of this subchapter is established. Such treble damages shall be in addition to any other damages to which the victim is entitled pursuant to common law or other provisions of the Delaware Code."

Approved June 30, 2003