Chapter 93A

One of the types of cases I take is called a 93A case. I thought I should take some time to describe it and what it can do for you.

It's based on Chapter 93A of the Massachusetts General Laws. Chapter 93A can be a very powerful law for consumers. It is basically Massachusetts' consumer protection statute. In order to file a lawsuit under 93A you must have been a victim of an "unfair or deceptive act or practice". What qualifies often depends on the situation. The Massachusetts State Website has a pretty good list of the typical situations that could lead to a 93A suit:

  • A business charges a consumer higher rates than the marked, published or advertised price.
  • The refund/return policy is not clearly posted where it can be readily noticed and understood.
  • A business does not meet its warranty agreement.
  • A business fails to tell you relevant information regarding your product or service or misleads you in any way.
  • A business uses "Bait and Switch" advertising - a technique by which the seller advertises an item for sale at a particularly good price or terms but does not really want to sell that item. The seller discourages the purchase of the advertised item and instead tries to convince the buyer to purchase a different item for a higher price or on less favorable terms.
  • An insurance company fails to make a reasonable settlement of claims.

There are also some landlord/tenant situations that could lead to a 93A case, such as failure to exterminate a pest infestation or make reasonable repairs.

One of the major requirements for the 93A case is the demand letter. Before a consumer can sue under 93A, they must send a demand letter to the business and give them 30 days to repair the problem. 

A great advantage of the 93A suit is the consequence of multiple damages. A consumer can sue for up to triple the amount of actual damages in the case and even get awarded the costs of attorneys fees. This can often put consumers in a much better position for settling the case favorably. 

Of course, you should consider hiring a consumer attorney to help you with your case. An attorney can help you draft your demand letter properly. The possiblity of getting awarded attorneys fees can also make the costs of the suit almost nothing for the client.

I hope this simply explained what 93A is and how it can help you.