Legal Memorandum: Treble Damages Remedy in PA

Issue: Under the laws of the state of Pennsylvania, does the treble damages remedy provided under 201-9.2 apply to actions sounding in tort?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Treble damages remedy; Ascertainable losses of money or property; Remedy for fraud
Jurisdiction: Pennsylvania
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Pa. Stat. tit. 73, § 201-9.2, § 201-9.2(a) (Supp. 1997)
Date: 02/01/2000

           Because it is fundamentally a remedy for fraud, § 201-9.2 provides for recovery only of ascertainable losses of money or property.  See Pa. Stat. tit. 73, § 201-9.2(a) (Supp. 1997); Lenhart v. Naccarato, 11 Pa. D. & C.4th 54, 62 (C.P. Washington County 1988) (objective of unfair trade practices law is prevention of fraud).  Not only are such economic damages the only damages recoverable under the unfair trade practices law, they are also the only damages that may be trebled under that law.

Section 201-9.2 does not allow for trebling of non-economic losses such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.  In re Bryant, 111 B.R. 474, 480 (E.D. Pa. 1990); In re Clark, 96 B.R. 569, 582-83 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 1989).


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