CHAPTER 480

MONOPOLIES; RESTRAINT OF TRADE

 

        Part I. Antitrust Provisions

Section

    480-1 Definitions

    480-2 Unfair competition, practices, declared unlawful

    480-3 Interpretation

  480-3.1 Civil penalty

  480-3.3 Endless chain schemes

    480-4 Combinations in restraint of trade, price-fixing and

          limitation of production prohibited

    480-5 Requirements and output contracts; tying agreements

    480-6 Refusal to deal

    480-7 Mergers, acquisitions, holdings, and divestitures

    480-8 Interlocking directorates and relationships

    480-9 Monopolization

   480-10 Exemption of labor organizations

   480-11 Exemption of certain cooperative organizations;

          insurance transactions; approved mergers of

          federally regulated companies; homeless facility

          and program donors and provider agencies

   480-12 Contracts void

   480-13 Suits by persons injured; amount of recovery,

          injunctions

 480-13.3 Class actions by private persons

 480-13.5 Additional civil penalties for consumer frauds

          committed against elders

   480-14 Suits by the State; amount of recovery

   480-15 Injunction by attorney general or the director of

          the office of consumer protection

 480-15.1 Penalty

   480-16 Violation a felony

   480-17 Individual liability for corporate or company act

   480-18 Investigation

   480-19 Additional parties defendant

   480-20 Duty of the attorney general; duty of county

          attorney, etc.

   480-21 Court and venue

   480-22 Judgment in favor of the State as evidence in

          Private action; suspension of limitation

   480-23 Immunity from prosecution

 480-23.1 Procedures

 480-23.2 Use immunity

 480-23.3 Transactional immunity

 480-23.4 Penalty

   480-24 Limitation of actions

 

        Part II.  Antitrust Exemption--Repealed

   480-31 to 37 Repealed

 

Law Journals and Reviews

 

  Timesharing in the 1990s.  I HBJ No. 13, at pg. 89.

  Seller Beware: New Law Protects Hawai‘i Home Buyers.  18 UH L. Rev. 981.

 

Case Notes

 

  In class action brought against major cigarette manufacturers, tobacco trade associations, and the industry's public relations firm, first amended complaint asserted violations of federal RICO statutes; Hawaii's RICO statute, §842-2; federal antitrust statutes; Hawaii's antitrust act (this chapter); various state common-law torts; and false advertising under §708-871; defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim granted, where injuries alleged by plaintiffs trust funds in first amended complaint were not direct; even if remoteness doctrine did not bar claims, claims failed for other reasons.  52 F. Supp. 2d 1196.

  A municipality may be held liable under this chapter if its act is done "in the conduct of any trade or commerce", but is not subject to a treble damage penalty.  215 F. Supp. 2d 1098.

  Plaintiff's investment was for business purposes where plaintiff created plaintiff's own venture, plaintiff's investors were relying on plaintiff to provide them with profit, and plaintiff acted as plaintiff's own broker; plaintiff's investment under this chapter not a "personal investment", and therefore plaintiff did not satisfy definition of "consumer" pursuant to this chapter.  710 F. Supp. 2d 1036 (2010).

  Section 657-20 is limited to causes of action mentioned in part I of chapter 657 or §663-3, and therefore does not apply to plaintiff's claim brought pursuant to this chapter.  777 F. Supp. 2d 1224 (2011).

  Statute of limitations on a claim under this chapter may be tolled under the equitable tolling doctrine of fraudulent concealment.  777 F. Supp. 2d 1224 (2011).

  Defendant lender's motion for summary judgment granted on plaintiff borrower's unfair or deceptive acts or practices claim to the extent that plaintiff based the claim against defendant on allegations that defendant did not consider plaintiff's ability to repay the loans or whether plaintiff qualified for a more favorable loan; plaintiff had not presented any evidence that defendant actively participated in plaintiff's financial activity.  834 F. Supp. 2d 1061 (2011).

  Construing the evidence in plaintiff decedent's trustee's favor, there was sufficient evidence (decedent mortgagee's impairments, e.g., advanced age, inability to see or hear, and dementia, rendered decedent "incapable of reading, writing and understanding re-finance mortgage documents") that the mortgage between decedent and defendants was void under §480-12, such that plaintiff may continue to seek rescission under this chapter.  848 F. Supp. 2d 1182 (2012).

  Defendant mortgagee and loan servicer's motion to dismiss plaintiff mortgagor's claim pursuant to §480-2 granted where plaintiff's allegations appeared to sound at least partly in fraud, yet failed to meet federal rule of civil procedure rule 9(b)'s particularity requirement; specifically, where a chapter 480 claim is based on fraudulent acts, a plaintiff must plead the claim with particularity.  850 F. Supp. 2d 1120 (2012).

  Although a damage claim under §480-13 based on violations of §480-2 may only be asserted against the wrongdoer, a rescission claim under this chapter can stand against subsequent assignees if the contract is void; where plaintiff had alleged that defendant mortgage broker assigned or sold loans to other defendants, plaintiff could seek rescission against other defendants if mortgage broker violated this chapter and the loans were void; however, a plaintiff seeking affirmatively to void a mortgage transaction under §480-12 must "place the parties in as close a position as they held prior to the transaction".  861 F. Supp. 2d 1153 (2012).

  With respect to plaintiff mortgagor's unfair and deceptive acts or practices claim, to the extent plaintiff asserted that defendant lender and loan servicer breached the Home Affordable Mortgage Program guidelines, there was no express or implied private right of action to sue lenders or loan servicers for violation of the Home Affordable Mortgage Program.  863 F. Supp. 2d 1020 (2012).

  District court concluded, for purposes of plaintiffs' motion to remand to state court only, that:  (1) some of plaintiffs' allegations in counts II (violations of this chapter) and III (breach of fiduciary duty) of the complaint were expressly preempted by ERISA pursuant to 29 U.S.C. §1144(a) and were not subject to the exception for the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act, chapter 393; and (2) therefore, those claims were necessarily federal in nature, and defendants' removal of the action based on federal question jurisdiction was proper.  892 F. Supp. 2d 1288 (2012).

  Where attorney general sought penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation of the unfair or deceptive acts or practices law (UDAP), injunctive relief and additional penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation of the UDAP committed against elders, the attorney general clearly invoked the attorney general's civil enforcement authority under this chapter; proceedings brought in that capacity are not class actions for purposes of the Class Action Fairness Act.  Attorney general's motions to remand lawsuits denied.  907 F. Supp. 2d 1188 (2012).

  Plaintiff's unfair and deceptive trade practices cause of action under this chapter was statutory and was not in the nature of assumpsit.  933 F. Supp. 2d 1264 (2013).

  While there was insufficient allegations in the Complaint, the court concluded that it was arguably possible for plaintiffs, timeshare owners, to amend their Complaint to allege that they had standing to bring claims of violations of this chapter as "consumers", relating to their timeshare interest against defendants, timeshare resort operators.  165 F. Supp. 3d 955 (2016).

  As §480-13(b) enumerates the specific damages that a consumer may recover under this chapter and makes no provision for punitive damages, plaintiffs were precluded from seeking punitive damages under this chapter.  98 H. 309, 47 P.3d 1222.

  As this chapter was not designed as a vehicle for personal injury actions, for which the law already provides adequate remedies, plaintiffs could not recover damages for emotional distress under this chapter.  98 H. 309, 47 P.3d 1222.

  By the plain language of this chapter, no actual purchase is necessary as a prerequisite to a consumer recovering damages under §480-13, based on injuries stemming from violations of §480-2.  98 H. 309, 47 P.3d 1222.

  Where trial court correctly concluded that there was no contract between plaintiff and car dealership, plaintiff was neither entitled to benefit-of-the-bargain damages nor specific performance, which are preconditioned on the existence and breach of a contract.  98 H. 309, 47 P.3d 1222.

  Where question of whether a waiver requirement would be materially important in booking a horseback tour was a genuine issue of material fact resolvable only by the trier of fact, trial court erred in granting summary judgment on the unfair or deceptive trade practice claim under this chapter.  111 H. 254, 141 P.3d 427.

  Designation of the director to enforce chapter 443B does not preclude standing to an individual to sue under this chapter, provided the individual can satisfy the definition of "consumer".  78 H. 213 (App.), 891 P.2d 300.

  Where vehicle theft registration system sold by car dealership did not constitute "insurance"--as each system came with an accompanying contract which unambiguously stated that if the system failed to deter theft and the stolen vehicle was not recovered within thirty days, the vehicle theft administration would pay the vehicle's registered owner an amount of money toward the purchase of a replacement vehicle--car dealership did not engage in an unfair and deceptive trade practice through the marketing and sale of insurance.  122 H. 181 (App.), 223 P.3d 246 (2009).

 

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