482E-9 Civil liability. (a) The commission of any unfair or deceptive acts or practices or unfair methods of competition prohibited by section 482E-6 shall constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice under chapter 480.

(b) Any person who sells or offers to sell a franchise in violation of this chapter shall be liable to the franchisee or subfranchisor who may sue for damages caused thereby or for rescission or other relief as the court may deem appropriate. In the case of a violation of section 482E-5(b) rescission is not available to the plaintiff if the defendant proves that the plaintiff knew the facts concerning the untruth or admission or that the defendant exercised reasonable care and did not know or if the defendant had exercised reasonable care would not have known of the untruth or admission.

(c) The suit authorized under subsection (b) may be brought to recover the actual damages sustained by the plaintiff together with the cost of the suit including reasonable attorneys' fees and the court may in its discretion increase the award of damages to an amount not to exceed three times the actual damages sustained.

(d) Any person who becomes liable to make payments under this section may recover contributions as in cases of contracts from any persons who, if sued separately, would have been liable to make the same payment.

(e) A final judgment, order, or decree heretofore or hereafter rendered against a person in any civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings under the United States anti-trust laws, under the Federal Trade Commission Act, or this chapter shall be regarded as evidence against such persons in an action brought by any party against such person under subsections (a) and (b) as to all matters which said judgment or decree would be an estoppel between the parties thereto. [L 1974, c 18, pt of 1; am L 1978, c 242, 10; gen ch 1985]

 

Case Notes

 

Subsection (a) does not create a private cause of action for franchisees with respect to deceptive practices; plaintiffs stated a claim for liability under this section where alleged activity fell within scope of 482E-6(2)(C). 895 F. Supp. 1365.

 

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