Hawaii Revised Statutes Division 2. Business § 480-13




(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), any person who is injured in the person's business or property by reason of anything forbidden or declared unlawful by this chapter:

(1) May sue for damages sustained by the person, and, if the judgment is for the plaintiff, the plaintiff shall be awarded a sum not less than $1,000 or threefold damages by the plaintiff sustained, whichever sum is the greater, and reasonable attorney's fees together with the costs of suit; provided that indirect purchasers injured by an illegal overcharge shall recover only compensatory damages, and reasonable attorney's fees together with the costs of suit in actions not brought under section 480-14(c) ; and

(2) May bring proceedings to enjoin the unlawful practices, and if the decree is for the plaintiff, the plaintiff shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees together with the costs of suit.

(b) Any consumer who is injured by any unfair or deceptive act or practice forbidden or declared unlawful by section 480-2 :

(1) May sue for damages sustained by the consumer, and, if the judgment is for the plaintiff, the plaintiff shall be awarded a sum not less than $1,000 or threefold damages by the plaintiff sustained, whichever sum is the greater, and reasonable attorney's fees together with the costs of suit; provided that where the plaintiff is an elder, the plaintiff, in the alternative, may be awarded a sum not less than $5,000 or threefold any damages sustained by the plaintiff, whichever sum is the greater, and reasonable attorney's fees together with the costs of suit. In determining whether to adopt the $5,000 alternative amount in an award to an elder, the court shall consider the factors set forth in section 480-13.5 ; and

(2) May bring proceedings to enjoin the unlawful practices, and if the decree is for the plaintiff, the plaintiff shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees together with the costs of suit.

(c) The remedies provided in subsections (a) and (b) shall be applied in class action and de facto class action lawsuits or proceedings, including actions brought on behalf of direct or indirect purchasers; provided that:

(1) The minimum $1,000 recovery provided in subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply in a class action or a de facto class action lawsuit;

(2) In class actions or de facto class actions where both direct and indirect purchasers are involved, or where more than one class of indirect purchasers are involved, a defendant shall be entitled to prove as a partial or complete defense to a claim for compensatory damages that the illegal overcharge has been passed on or passed back to others who are themselves entitled to recover so as to avoid the duplication of recovery of compensatory damages;

(3) That portion of threefold damages in excess of compensatory damages shall be apportioned and allocated by the court in its exercise of discretion so as to promote effective enforcement of this chapter and deterrence from violation of its provisions;

(4) In no event shall an indirect purchaser be awarded less than the full measure of compensatory damages attributable to the indirect purchaser;

(5) In any lawsuit or lawsuits in which claims are asserted by both direct purchasers and indirect purchasers, the court is authorized to exercise its discretion in the apportionment of damages, and in the transfer and consolidation of cases to avoid the duplication of the recovery of damages and the multiplicity of suits, and in other respects to obtain substantial fairness;

(6) In any case in which claims are being asserted by a part of the claimants in a court of this State and another part of the claimants in a court other than of this State, where the claims arise out of same or overlapping transactions, the court is authorized to take all steps reasonable and necessary to avoid duplication of recovery of damages and multiplicity of suits, and in other respects, to obtain substantial fairness;

(7) In instances where indirect purchasers file an action and obtain a judgment or settlement prior to the completion of a direct purchaser's action in courts other than this State, the court shall delay disbursement of the damages until such time as the direct purchaser's suits are resolved to either final judgment, consent decree or settlement, or in the absence of a direct purchaser's lawsuit in the courts other than this State by direct purchasers, the expiration of the statute of limitations, or in such manner that will minimize duplication of damages to the extent reasonable and practicable, avoid multiplicity of suit, and obtain substantial fairness; and

(8) In the event damages in a class action or de facto class action remain unclaimed by the direct or indirect purchasers, the class representative or the attorney general shall apply to the court and such funds shall escheat to the State upon showing that reasonable efforts made by the State to distribute the funds have been unsuccessful.

(d) The remedies provided in this section are cumulative and may be brought in one action.





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