The reasons for utilizing c.93A are obvious in a person-to-business consumer transaction: if the consumer sends a c.93A demand letter and the recipient does not respond within 30 days with a reasonable settlement offer, then the court could double or triple the amount of damages recovered by the claimant, plus costs and attorney’s fees.
M.G.L. c. 93A s.9 applies in context of consumer transactions and requires the claimant to send a demand letter outlining the facts they believe give rise to a legal claim – and outlining a demand for relief. The relief can be monetary or a request to act or refrain from acting, or any combination of the same. A claimant may raise c.93A s.9 as a counterclaim without the necessity of sending a demand letter. However, the demand letter is a prerequisite to filing suit under c.93A and a case filed without the demand is subject to dismissal.
M.G.L. c. 93A s.11 applies in the business to business transactions. There is no jurisdictional prerequisite of a demand letter preceding filing suit. The claimant may proceed in Superior Court or the Housing Court, as the situation may warrant.
M.G.L. c.93A s.2 specifically incorporates the regulations promulgated by the Massachusetts Attorney General, such as 940 CMR 3.00, et seq., which outline certain other conduct that violates c.93A.
Contact Mike Shivick today to set up an initial consultation, if you believe you have been subject to unfair and deceptive practices in a consumer or business context.
There is a 4 year statute of limitations of c.93A claims, so time may be of the essence to take action in some cases, and claims outside that time limit are extinguished forever, except in rare circumstances.