(a) "Merchandise" means objects, wares, goods, or commodities.
(b) "Merchandise pallet" means a plastic carrier or plastic container, ranging in size from 36 inches to 54 inches with a forklift entry, used by a manufacturer or distributor to transport merchandise, which has a notice permanently affixed to it by the owner that does all of the following:
(1) identifies the company name of the owner of the pallet;
(2) notifies the public that the unauthorized possession of the pallet is a violation of state law; and
(3) lists a telephone number or address for the owner.
(c) With respect to possession of a merchandise pallet, "unauthorized person" includes anyone in possession of one or more merchandise pallets, except the following:
(1) the company owner;
(2) a person in lawful possession of the merchandise pallet; or
(3) a person who has temporary possession of the merchandise pallet as a result of the purchase of the products or merchandise transported using the merchandise pallet.
An unauthorized person in possession of a merchandise pallet, or a person, other than the owner, who maliciously, with intent to damage, obliterates, removes, or distorts the owner's name on a merchandise pallet, shall be liable to the injured party as set forth in subdivision 4.
A person who purchases or leases a merchandise pallet shall retain a copy of the bill of sale or other evidence that supports the purchase or lease.
A person injured by a violation of this section may recover damages equal to three times the cost of the merchandise pallet, together with costs and disbursements, including a reasonable attorney's fee.