Revision Note


  Sections 480-1 to 24 have been designated Part I in view of addition of Part II by L 1972, c 205.


Law Journals and Reviews


  Updating Unfair or Deceptive Acts and Practices Under Chapter 480-2.  10 HBJ No. 13, at pg. 109.


     §480-1  Definitions.  As used in this chapter:

     "Class action" includes the definition as provided in rule 23 of the Hawaii rules of civil procedure.

     "Commodity" includes, but is not restricted to, goods, merchandise, produce, choses in action, and any other article of commerce.  It also includes trade or business in service trades, transportation, insurance, banking, lending, advertising, bonding, and any other business.

     "Consumer" means a natural person who, primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, purchases, attempts to purchase, or is solicited to purchase goods or services or who commits money, property, or services in a personal investment.

     "De facto class action" means an action that has not been certified by the court but includes identical considerations as provided in Hawaii rules of civil procedure rule 23 such as common questions of law or fact, claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of nonparties and, as a practical matter, the disposition of the interest of the class or other members not parties to the adjudications would substantially impair or impede their ability to protect their interest.

     "Person" or "persons" includes individuals, corporations, firms, trusts, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and incorporated or unincorporated associations, existing under or authorized by the laws of this State, or any other state, or any foreign country.

     "Purchase" or "buy" includes "contract to buy", "lease", "contract to lease", "acquire a license", and "contract to acquire a license".

     "Purchaser" includes the equivalent terms of "purchase" and "buy".

     "Sale" or "sell" includes "contract to sell", "lease", "contract to lease", "license", and "contract to license".

     "Seller" includes the equivalent terms of "sale" and "sell". [L 1961, c 190, §1; Supp, §205A-1; HRS §480-1; am L 1987, c 274, §1; am L 1990, c 63, §1; am L 2005, c 108, §1]


Attorney General Opinions


  Land and land activities are within scope of chapter. Att. Gen. Op. 62-39.


Law Journals and Reviews


  The Antitrust Laws and Land: An Answer to Hawaii's Housing Crisis?  8 HBJ 5.


Case Notes


  Because defendant wholesale food marketer and distributor did not meet definition of a consumer, it lacked standing to sue for deceptive practices under §480-2.  61 F. Supp. 2d 1092.

  Defendants' motion for summary judgment on plaintiffs' claim under §480-4 granted; although the word "commodity" was defined to include "any other business", the purchase of real estate by an individual owner could not be considered a business.  338 F. Supp. 2d 1106.

  Where the dispute giving rise to a claim for unfair and deceptive act in trade or commerce occurred after the alleged injury, when plaintiff alleged that defendant failed to comply with their agreement regarding the release of plaintiff's medical records, plaintiff lacked standing as a consumer to bring a claim under §480-2, and defendant was not engaged in trade or commerce.  383 F. Supp. 2d 1244.

  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).

  Although plaintiffs, timeshare owners, alleged that they purchased timeshare interests as a personal investment, plaintiffs did not plead any facts to support their conclusion that they were consumers under the Hawaii unfair and deceptive acts and practices (UDAP) act and, therefore, lacked standing to bring UDAP claims against timeshare resort operator.  165 F. Supp. 3d 955 (2016).

  Suit against State based on this chapter precluded by sovereign immunity.  60 H. 228, 588 P.2d 430.

  Real estate or residences did not qualify as "goods" under this section, but did qualify as "personal investments"; homebuyer thus had standing as "consumer" to bring claim under §480-13.  80 H. 54, 905 P.2d 29.

  Where employee was not a "consumer" as defined under this section, employee lacked standing to maintain private cause of action under §480-13 against workers' compensation insurer based on alleged violation of §480-2.  83 H. 457, 927 P.2d 858.

  Where employer was not a "consumer" as defined under this section, employee could not maintain action under §480-13, based on employee's third party beneficiary status, against workers' compensation insurer for alleged violation of §480-2.  83 H. 457, 927 P.2d 858.

  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 unincorporated association of apartment owners was not a "consumer" as defined by this section, it lacked standing to bring an action based upon unfair or deceptive acts or practices declared unlawful by §480-2.  115 H. 232, 167 P.3d 225.

  Although plaintiffs were "consumers" within the meaning of §480-13 and this section, plaintiffs' payment of their Hawaii medical services association (HMSA) lien to the Kentucky-based company that contracted with HMSA to provide subrogation and "claims recovery services", but which had violated §443B-3 (collection agency registration requirements), did not constitute an injury for which plaintiffs could bring suit under §480-13(b).  117 H. 153, 177 P.3d 341.

  Where, based on the obligations arising from the "loan agreements" the Hawaii medical services association (HMSA) required plaintiffs to sign when they received their medical treatments, which loan agreements could have been enforced by HMSA and could have been considered a form of payment for the health care the plaintiffs received, plaintiffs were "consumers" who, by virtue of the agreement, engaged in a consumer transaction.  117 H. 153, 177 P.3d 341.

  Employees are "any persons" within the meaning of §480-2(e) and this section and are within the category of plaintiffs who have standing to bring a claim under §480-2(e) for a violation of §481B-14; however, based on the allegations contained in employees' amended complaint, employees did not sufficiently allege the "nature of the competition" to bring a claim for damages against employer under §§480-2(e) and 480-13(a) for a violation of §481B-14.  122 H. 423, 228 P.3d 303 (2010).

  Plaintiff suing store's commercial general liability insurer for injuries received in slip and fall was not "consumer" as defined in this section, and therefore lacked standing to maintain private cause of action under §480-13.  82 H. 363 (App.), 922 P.2d 976.

  Plaintiff corporation and officers of corporation were not "consumers" as defined in this section; thus, plaintiffs, individually and collectively, did not have standing to bring suit under chapter 480 for alleged unfair/deceptive trade practices.  107 H. 423 (App.), 114 P.3d 929.