Tennessee Consumer Protection Act – The Tennessee Consumer Protection Act was amended to prevent punitive damages under the Act (after an award of treble damages).

Posted on Oct 1 2012 8:50AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

The Tennessee tort reform bill of 2011 added a provision in the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act that explicitly prevents an award for punitive or exemplary damages beyond the treble damages found in the Act (T.C.A. § 47-18-101 – T.C.A. § 47-18-130).  This change went into effect with the adoption of Public Chapter No. 510 and applies to all actions that accrue on or after October 1, 2011.


T.C.A. § 47-18-109 (a)(3) now provides as follows:


(3) If the court finds that the use or employment of the unfair or deceptive act or practice was a willful or knowing violation of this part, the court may award three (3) times the actual damages sustained and may provide such other relief as it considers necessary and proper, except that the court may not award exemplary or punitive damages for the same unfair or deceptive practice.


(emphasis added and shows language added to statute).  The change made by Public Chapter No. 510 was the legislature added the last phrase in T.C.A. § 47-18-109(a)(3) providing "except that the court may not award exemplary or punitive damages for the same unfair or deceptive practice."  This addition to the statute expressly confirmed that exemplary or punitive damages could not be assessed for violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protect Act when treble damages are assessed under T.C.A. § 47-18-109(a)(3). 

Public Chapter No. 510 also added T.C.A. § 47-18-109(g) which provides that "no class action lawsuit may be brought to recover damages for an unfair or deceptive act or practice declared to be unlawful by this part."  As a result, this new addition to the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act bars any civil class action lawsuits under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.

TAGS: Tennessee Tort Reform, Damages, Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, Punitive Damages
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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. He practices in all areas of defense litigation inside and outside of Tennessee.

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Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
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