HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2118

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO ANTITRUST.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. Section 480-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (d) to read as follows:

"(d) No person other than a consumer, the attorney general [or], the director of the office of consumer protection, or the corporation counsel or county attorney of a county may bring an action based upon unfair or deceptive acts or practices declared unlawful by this section."

SECTION 2. Section 480-3.1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"480-3.1 Civil penalty. Any person, firm, company, association, or corporation violating any of the provisions of section 480-2 shall be fined a sum of not less than $500 nor more than $10,000 for each violation, which sum shall be collected in a civil action brought by the attorney general or [the] director of the office of consumer protection on behalf of the State[.] or by the corporation counsel or county attorney on behalf of a county. The penalties provided in this section are cumulative to the remedies or penalties available under all other laws of this State. Each day that a violation of section 480-2 occurs shall be a separate violation."

SECTION 3. Section 480-13, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), any person who is injured in the person's business or property by reason of anything forbidden or declared unlawful by this chapter:

(1) May sue for damages sustained by the person, and, if the judgment is for the plaintiff, the plaintiff shall be awarded a sum not less than $1,000 or threefold damages by the plaintiff sustained, whichever sum is the greater, and reasonable attorney's fees together with the costs of suit; provided that indirect purchasers injured by an illegal overcharge shall recover only compensatory damages, and reasonable attorney's fees together with the costs of suit in actions not brought under section [480-14(c);] 480-14(e); and

(2) May bring proceedings to enjoin the unlawful practices, and if the decree is for the plaintiff, the plaintiff shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees together with the costs of suit."

SECTION 4. Section 480-14, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"480-14 Suits by the State[;] and counties; amount of recovery. (a) Whenever the State or any of its political subdivisions or governmental agencies is injured, directly or indirectly, in its business or property by reason of anything forbidden or declared unlawful by this chapter, it may sue to recover threefold the actual damages sustained by it, whether directly or indirectly. [The]

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c), the attorney general may bring an action on behalf of the State or any of its political subdivisions or governmental agencies to recover the damages provided for by this section, or by any comparable provisions of federal law.

(c) The corporation counsel or county attorney, as the case may be, may bring an action on behalf of a county to recover the damages provided for by this section, or by any comparable provisions of federal law.

[(b)] (d) The attorney general of the State shall be authorized to bring a class action for indirect purchasers asserting claims under this chapter. The attorney general [or the], director of the office of consumer protection, or corporation counsel or county attorney of a county may bring a class action on behalf of consumers based on unfair or deceptive acts or practices declared unlawful by section 480-2. Actions brought under this subsection shall be brought as parens patriae on behalf of natural persons residing in the State to secure threefold damages for injuries sustained by the natural persons to their property by reason of any violation of this chapter.

[(c)] (e) If judgment is in favor of the State or any of its political subdivisions or governmental agencies under any provision of this chapter, the attorney general [or the], director of the office of consumer protection, corporation counsel, or county attorney shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees together with the cost of suit; provided that in any class action lawsuit brought by the attorney general on behalf of indirect purchasers, the attorney general shall in addition be awarded an amount commensurate with expenses reasonably expected to be expended in distribution of damages to the indirect purchasers."

SECTION 5. Section 480-15, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"480-15 Injunction by the attorney general [or the], director of the office of consumer protection[.], corporation counsel, or county attorney. The attorney general may bring proceedings to enjoin any violation of this chapter; provided that the director of the office of consumer protection or corporation counsel or county attorney of a county may also bring proceedings to enjoin any violation of section 480-2."

SECTION 6. Section 480-15.1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"480-15.1 Penalty. Any person, firm, company, association, or corporation violating an injunctive order to cease and desist from violating any provisions of this chapter shall be fined by a sum not less than $500 nor more than $10,000, which sum shall be collected in a civil action brought by the attorney general or [the] director of the office of consumer protection on behalf of the State[.] or by the corporation counsel or county attorney on behalf of a county. Each separate violation of any such order shall be a separate offense, except that in the case of a violation through continuing failure or neglect to obey a final order of the court, each day of continuance of such failure shall constitute a separate offense."

SECTION 7. Section 480-20, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:

"(c) The attorney general, director of the office of consumer protection, or corporation counsel or county attorney of a county shall have concurrent jurisdiction [with the attorney general] to enforce the civil provisions of this chapter with regard to violations of section 480-2."

SECTION 8. Section 480-22, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. By amending subsection (a) to read:

"(a) A final judgment or decree rendered in any civil or criminal proceeding brought by the State, county, or any of its political subdivisions or governmental agencies, under this chapter shall be prima facie evidence against the defendant in any action or proceeding brought by any other party under this chapter, or by the State, county, or any of its political subdivisions or governmental agencies, under section 480-14, against the defendant as to all matters respecting which the judgment or decree would be an estoppel between the parties thereto. This section shall not apply to consent judgments or decrees entered before any complaint has been filed; provided that when a consent judgment or decree is filed, the attorney general shall set forth at the same time the alleged violations and reasons for entering into the consent judgment or decree. No consent judgment or decree that is entered before any complaint has been filed shall become final until sixty days from the filing of the consent judgment or decree or until the final determination of any exceptions filed, as hereinafter provided, whichever is later. During the sixty-day period any interested party covered under section 480-13 may file verified exceptions to the form and substance of the consent judgment or decree, and the court, upon a full hearing thereon may approve, refuse to approve, or may modify the consent judgment or decree."

2. By amending subsection (c) to read:

"(c) Whenever any civil or criminal proceeding is instituted by the State, county, or any of its political subdivisions or governmental agencies, to prevent, restrain, or punish violations of this chapter, but not including an action under section 480-14, the running of the statute of limitations in respect of every private right of action arising under the laws and based in whole or in part on any matter complained of in the proceeding shall be suspended during the pendency thereof and for one year thereafter."

SECTION 9. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 10. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Antitrust; Monopolies; Counties; Suits

 

Description:

Clarifies that the corporation counsel or county attorney of a county may file suit to recover damages under Hawaii's antitrust laws or any comparable provisions of federal law.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.