New Hampshire Consumer Law

In New Hampshire, the mini-FTC act is Consumer Protection Act (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§358-A:1 to 358-A:13).  Under this legislation, plaintiffs have a cause of action when a defendant commits one of fourteen enumerated acts or other broadly deceptive acts.  To sustain an action, the plaintiff must show actual harm due to the defendant’s conduct.  There is a statute of limitations for actions under the statute of three years.  The U.S. District Court for New Hampshire has found that the statute of limitations is tolled starting when plaintiffs knew or should have known they were injured by defendant’s wrongful acts.  Zee-Bar, Inc. N.H. v. Kaplan, 792 F.Supp. 895 (D.N.H. 1992).

A successful plaintiff is entitled to compensatory damages, punitive damages, and injunctive relief as potential remedies for a violation.  Damages under the statute are not capped; rather, there is a minimum amount of damages of $1,000.  Punitive damages may be awarded for willful or knowing violations, and if they are awarded then the total damages awarded are to be no more than three times and no less than two times the amount of actual damages.  Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs are always recoverable.  Class actions are expressly permitted under the statute.