In a marketplace where money means power, individuals and small businesses often get treated unfairly. When a business doesn’t deliver what it advertised, or doesn’t take back a product that doesn’t work, it can feel like there is nothing you can do about it. They have your money and won’t give it back or fix the problem.
That’s why laws have been developed to prevent these abuses and to hold banks, insurance companies and big businesses accountable for their behavior in the marketplace. The Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, General Laws chapter 93A, provides us with a very powerful took for holding businesses accountable for unfair practices. It allows us to sue for your damages and make the defendant pay our fees and all the costs of the litigation. And if the judge finds that the unfair practice was a “willful or knowing” or “bad faith” violation, we can be awarded up to triple your actual damages as a penalty.
Most products come with a specific warranty, but sometimes the seller or manufacturer refuses to honor it. All products come with a “warranty of merchantability.” Basically, that means that the product must perform as well and last as long as a consumer would reasonably expect it to. This is all part of a law called the “Uniform Commercial Code.” But some products don’t meet those expectations. Sometimes cars may have defects that the dealers don’t fix, despite repeated visits to the service department. There is a special law for that, called the “Lemon Law.” These are just a few of the many laws a consumer protection lawyer needs to know.
The law also requires that insurance companies treat you fairly. Sometimes they do not. Sometimes they take advantage of their economic power and leave you helpless. They may refuse to pay on valid claims or try to pay you less than they should. General Laws chapter 176D sets out a long list of rights and protections you have against such bad faith insurance practices and lets us use chapter 93A’s procedures to sue the insurance company for treble damages, costs and attorneys’ fees.
These laws also have specific detailed procedural requirements that have to be followed or you may lose a valid claim. A pre-suit demand must be served which has to meet certain standards to be sufficient, and the defendants routinely challenge the sufficiency of the demand. Other time limits must be observed. You need a lawyer who has experience with these kinds of lawsuits.
These same laws also require that businesses treat one another fairly and not engage in unfair or deceptive business dealings. But big businesses do not always do that. Sometimes they use their economic power against small businesses and sole proprietorships. They may refuse to pay for services, honor a contract, or replace a defective product. The laws that protect you from this unfair treatment are complex. You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to make sure that you have a lawyer that is experienced and prepared to navigate the system for you. At KJC Law Firm, we recognize that small business is not big business, with its economic might and an army of lawyers to protect it. Small business is people, people who are vulnerable to the might of big business, the government, or insurance companies. Like the statute, we are here to protect people, in their personal and their business lives.
The lawyers at KJC Law Firm have extensive experience using these laws to assist consumers and small businesses. We help people who have been sold mortgages that they really cannot afford, who have bought products that have not performed the way they should, or who have been the victim of unscrupulous business practices. We helped an injured iron worker collect his $3 million personal injury judgment and an extra $4 million punitive award from an insurance company that failed to treat his claim properly. We obtained a $5 million settlement for our clients in another insurance bad faith case, and we used the threat of such a claim to obtain a $9.9 million settlement in a personal injury case.
We use the strength of these laws to even up the scales, to give our clients equal power to use against those that have abused their economic might. We work not only to recover your losses, but to make sure that our fee for recovering them is paid by the defendant, and to obtain additional damages for you as punishment for the wrongdoer as well.
If you or a family member or your business has had problems with a product or had a business refuse to honor a warranty, or had a claim denied or undervalued by an insurance company, call KJC Law Firm for a free consultation. We will tell you whether you have a case and help you get the compensation you deserve. The consumer protection lawyers at KJC Law Firm have more than 90 years of experience litigating major cases. KJC Law Firm represents injured people from communities all across Massachusetts, including the Greater Boston area, Cambridge, Metrowest, Cape Cod, Fall River, Lowell, Worcester and Springfield.