April 18, 2011 Articles

Enhanced Damages for Elderly Victims of Consumer Fraud

The inconsistency in enhancements and penalties for elderly victims from state to state creates incentive for forum-shopping.

By Zachary D. Schorr

Jurisdictions across the United States have enacted enhanced civil damages and civil penalty provisions to deal with fraud committed against the elderly. These enhanced damages provisions differ from traditional elder abuse causes of action in that they are not limited to the narrow category of claims that traditionally constitute elder abuse—physical and financial abuse. Instead, they offer additional or enhanced damages provisions that are essentially add-ons for the elderly when they sue under non-elder abuse laws for consumer fraud and other consumer protection causes of action.

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