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Ninth Circuit Reads Hawaii's Deceptive Practices Act to Allow Class Actions Seeking Damages Without Proof of Causation

Many states have tried to make it easier for plaintiffs to bring consumer fraud claims by passing consumer protection statutes that eliminate or otherwise weaken the reliance requirement inherent in common law fraud. Still, these statutes generally do not untether liability from actual causation, for to award money damages without causation would potentially make a statute overly punitive. Thus, for nearly all state consumer protection statutes that allow damages, even where reliance is not an element of the statutory claim per se, the plaintiff still must prove that she suffered a loss that was caused by the allegedly deceptive conduct. Some have called this “reliance lite.” ...