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Statutes Text

Article - Commercial Law


    (a)    (1)    The Attorney General shall institute proceedings in equity to prevent or restrain violations of § 11–204 of this subtitle and may require assistance from any State’s Attorney for that purpose.

        (2)    In a proceeding under this section, the court shall determine whether a violation has been committed and enter any judgment or decree necessary to:

            (i)    Remove the effects of any violation it finds; and

            (ii)    Prevent continuation or renewal of the violation in the future.

        (3)    The court may exercise all equitable powers necessary for this purpose, including but not limited to injunction, restitution to any person of any money or real or personal property acquired from that person by means of any violation, divestiture of property or business units, and suspension or termination of the right of a foreign corporation or association to do business in the State.

        (4)    (i)    In addition to the equitable remedies or other relief authorized by this section, the court may assess against any person who violates § 11–204 of this subtitle a civil penalty not exceeding $10,000 for each violation, to be paid to the General Fund of the State.

            (ii)    Each day that a violation of § 11–204 of this subtitle continues is a separate violation.

    (b)    (1)    The United States, the State, and any political subdivision organized under the authority of the State is a person having standing to bring an action under this subsection.

        (2)    (i)    A person whose business or property has been injured or threatened with injury by a violation of § 11–204 of this subtitle may maintain an action for damages or for an injunction or both against any person who has committed the violation regardless of whether the person maintaining the action dealt directly or indirectly with the person who has committed the violation.

            (ii)    In any action under this subsection for damages by an intermediate purchaser or seller in the chain of manufacture, production, or distribution, any defendant, as a partial or complete defense, may, in order to avoid duplicative liability, prove that all or any part of an alleged overcharge was passed on to a later purchaser or ultimate end–user also maintaining an action for damages under this subsection.

        (3)    If an injunction is issued, the complainant shall be awarded costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

        (4)    In an action for damages, if an injury due to a violation of § 11–204 of this subtitle is found, the person injured shall be awarded three times the amount of actual damages which results from the violation, with costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

        (5)    The Attorney General may bring an action on behalf of the State or any of its political subdivisions or as parens patriae on behalf of persons residing in the State to recover the damages provided for by this subsection or any comparable provision of federal law.

    (c)    An action brought by the Attorney General as parens patriae under subsection (b)(5) of this section is presumed superior to any class action brought on behalf of the same person.

    (d)    (1)    An action brought to enforce this subtitle shall be commenced within 4 years after the cause of action accrues.

        (2)    For the purposes of this subsection, a cause of action for a continuing violation accrues at the time of the latest violation.

        (3)    Whenever the State commences a criminal proceeding under this subtitle or the United States commences a criminal antitrust proceeding under the federal antitrust laws, any civil action under this section related to the subject matter of the criminal proceeding shall be commenced within 1 year after the conclusion of the proceeding or within 4 years after the cause of action accrued, whichever is later.

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