Massachusetts law about consumer protection

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on consumer protection law.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.93A Regulation of Business Practices for Consumers' Protection
MGL c.176D Unfair Methods of Competition and Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices in the Business of Insurance

Massachusetts regulations

940 CMR 3 General regulations

Selected case law

Bridgwood v. A.J. Wood Construction, Inc., 480 Mass. 349 (2018)
The 6-year statute of repose in G. L. c. 260, § 2B can bar a MGL c.93A action for defective workmanship in home renovations if the claim is "sufficiently tort-like."

Duclersaint v. Federal National Mortgage Association, 427 Mass. 809, 696 NE2d 536 (1998)
"A practice may be deceptive if it reasonably could be found to have caused the plaintiff to act differently than he otherwise would have acted. However, a good faith dispute as to whether money is owed, or performance of some kind is due, in not the stuff of which a c.93A claim is made."

Feeney v. Dell, 454 Mass.192 (2009)
In a civil action challenging an order compelling arbitration pursuant to the terms of a consumer contract, this court ordered that the plaintiffs' complaint be dismissed without prejudice, on the ground that the plaintiffs' allegation that the defendant had erroneously collected sales tax attributable to the purchase of computer service contracts fell outside "the conduct of trade or commerce" as those terms are used in G. L. c. 93A, § 2 (a).

Greelish v. Drew, 35 Mass. App. Ct. 541, 622 NE2d 1376 (1993)
The court applied an amendment to Chapter 93A, which increased the potential damages available when an insurer engages in an unfair or deceptive act or practice. Previously, underlying insurance coverage was not included in the base damages subject to multiplication under Chapter 93A; this case determined that the underlying insurance coverage was to be included.

Haser v. Wright, 65 Mass. App. Ct. 903, 840 NE2d 63 (2005)
Parties who fail to request attorney fees in their briefs may be denied the ability to recover those fees.

Hopkins v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., 434 Mass. 556, 750 NE2d 943 (2001)
A claim against an insurance company for unfair settlement practices arising from a single act can constitute an actionable violation of Chapter 176D and Chapter 93A.

Klairmont v. Gainsboro Restaurant, Inc., 465 Mass. 165 (2013)
"A claim under G. L. c. 93A ...survived the death of the decedent, where it presented a cause of action that was substantively akin to the types of torts within the scope of the Massachusetts survival statute, G. L. c. 228, § 1."

Moronta v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, 476 Mass. 1013 (Mass. 2016)
No demand letter is required under G. L. c. 93A, § 9 (3), where “the prospective respondent does not maintain a place of business … within the commonwealth,” regardless of whether it “keep[s] assets” here.

Piers v. Wheeler and Taylor, Inc., 8 Mass. Law Reporter 410 (1998)
"Representing to a buyer of a home that the property is free of lead-contaminated paint without verifying that fact constitutes willful misconduct subjecting the seller and the seller's real estate agent to multiple damages under c.93A."

Rafferty v. Merck & Co., Inc., 479 Mass. 141 (2018)
To sue under c. 93A, "[i]t suffices that the plaintiff used the product, even if it was sold to another, and was injured as a result."

Schubach v. Household Finance Corporation, 375 Mass. 133 (1978).
"Intentionally filing collection actions against consumers in inconvenient distant courts, with the purpose and effect of securing default judgments and gaining unfair advantage," may be an unfair and deceptive act under c.93A, "even though the company filed its actions in compliance with c. 223, Section 2." "We reject the argument that an act or practice which is authorized by statute can never be an unfair or deceptive act or practice under Section 2 (a) of G. L. c. 93A. The circumstances of each case must be analyzed, and unfairness is to be measured not simply by determining whether particular conduct is lawful apart from G. L. c. 93A but also by analyzing the effect of the conduct on the public."


Massachusetts Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division
McCormack Building
1 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-8400

Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
17 Park Plaza, Suite 5170
Boston, MA 02116
(888) 283-3757
Consumer Education
30 Day Demand Letter

Web sources

Print sources



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Within Massachusetts only


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Last updated: November 4, 2019