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HF 4073

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 03/26/2018 05:47pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to consumer fraud; changing provisions governing deceptive acts; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 325F.71.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 325F.71, is amended to read:


325F.71 SENIOR CITIZENSnew text begin, VULNERABLE ADULTS,new text end AND deleted text beginDISABLEDdeleted text end
PERSONSnew text begin WITH DISABILITIESnew text end; ADDITIONAL CIVIL PENALTY FOR
DECEPTIVE ACTS.

Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

For the purposes of this section, the following words have
the meanings given them:

(a) "Senior citizen" means a person who is 62 years of age or older.

(b) "deleted text beginDisableddeleted text end Personnew text begin with a disabilitynew text end" means a person who has an impairment of physical
or mental function or emotional status that substantially limits one or more major life
activities.

(c) "Major life activities" means functions such as caring for one's self, performing
manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

new text begin (d) "Vulnerable adult" has the meaning given in section 626.5572, subdivision 21.
new text end

Subd. 2.

Supplemental civil penalty.

(a) In addition to any liability for a civil penalty
pursuant to sections 325D.43 to 325D.48, regarding deceptive trade practices; 325F.67,
regarding false advertising; and 325F.68 to 325F.70, regarding consumer fraud; a person
who engages in any conduct prohibited by those statutes, and whose conduct is perpetrated
against one or more senior citizensnew text begin, vulnerable adults,new text end or deleted text begindisableddeleted text end personsnew text begin with a disabilitynew text end,
is liable for an additional civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each violation, if one or
more of the factors in paragraph (b) are present.

(b) In determining whether to impose a civil penalty pursuant to paragraph (a), and the
amount of the penalty, the court shall consider, in addition to other appropriate factors, the
extent to which one or more of the following factors are present:

(1) whether the defendant knew or should have known that the defendant's conduct was
directed to one or more senior citizensnew text begin, vulnerable adults,new text end or deleted text begindisableddeleted text end personsnew text begin with a
disability
new text end;

(2) whether the defendant's conduct caused new text beginone or more new text endsenior citizensnew text begin, vulnerable adults,new text end
or deleted text begindisableddeleted text end persons new text beginwith a disability new text endto suffer: loss or encumbrance of a primary residence,
principal employment, or source of income; substantial loss of property set aside for
retirement or for personal or family care and maintenance; substantial loss of payments
received under a pension or retirement plan or a government benefits program; or assets
essential to the health or welfare of the senior citizennew text begin, vulnerable adult,new text end or deleted text begindisableddeleted text end personnew text begin
with a disability
new text end;

(3) whether one or more senior citizensnew text begin, vulnerable adults,new text end or deleted text begindisableddeleted text end persons new text beginwith a
disability
new text endare more vulnerable to the defendant's conduct than other members of the public
because of age, poor health or infirmity, impaired understanding, restricted mobility, or
disability, and actually suffered physical, emotional, or economic damage resulting from
the defendant's conduct; deleted text beginor
deleted text end

(4) whether the defendant's conduct caused senior citizensnew text begin, vulnerable adults,new text end or deleted text begindisableddeleted text end
persons new text beginwith a disability new text endto make an uncompensated asset transfer that resulted in the person
being found ineligible for medical assistancedeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (5) whether the defendant provided or arranged for health care or services that are inferior
to, substantially different than, or substantially more expensive than offered, promised,
marketed, or advertised.
new text end

Subd. 3.

Restitution to be given priority.

Restitution ordered pursuant to the statutes
listed in subdivision 2 shall be given priority over imposition of civil penalties designated
by the court under this section.

Subd. 4.

Private remedies.

A person injured by a violation of this section may bring a
civil action and recover damages, together with costs and disbursements, including costs
of investigation and reasonable attorney's fees, and receive other equitable relief as
determined by the court.