(a) (1) In addition to any liability for a civil penalty pursuant to Section 17206, a person who violates this chapter, and the act or acts of unfair competition are perpetrated against one or more senior citizens or disabled persons, may be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for each violation, which may be assessed and recovered in a civil action as prescribed in Section 17206.
(2) Subject to subdivision (d), any civil penalty shall be paid as prescribed by subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 17206.
(b) As used in this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Senior citizen” means a person who is 65 years of age or older.
(2) “Disabled person” means a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
(A) As used in this subdivision, “physical or mental impairment” means any of the following:
(i) A physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss substantially affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; or endocrine.
(ii) A mental or psychological disorder, including intellectual disability, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
“Physical or mental impairment” includes, but is not limited to, diseases and conditions including orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, intellectual disability, and emotional illness.
(B) “Major life activities” means functions that include caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
(c) In determining whether to impose a civil penalty pursuant to subdivision (a) and the amount thereof, the court shall consider, in addition to any other appropriate factors, the extent to which one or more of the following factors are present:
(1) Whether the defendant knew or should have known that his or her conduct was directed to one or more senior citizens or disabled persons.
(2) Whether the defendant’s conduct caused one or more senior citizens or disabled persons to suffer any of the following: loss or encumbrance of a primary residence, principal employment, or source of income; substantial loss of property set aside for retirement, or for personal or family care and maintenance; or substantial loss of payments received under a pension or retirement plan or a government benefits program, or assets essential to the health or welfare of the senior citizen or disabled person.
(3) Whether one or more senior citizens or disabled persons are substantially more vulnerable than other members of the public to the defendant’s conduct because of age, poor health or infirmity, impaired understanding, restricted mobility, or disability, and actually suffered substantial physical, emotional, or economic damage resulting from the defendant’s conduct.
(d) A court of competent jurisdiction hearing an action pursuant to this section may make orders and judgments as necessary to restore to a senior citizen or disabled person money or property, real or personal that may have been acquired by means of a violation of this chapter. Restitution ordered pursuant to this subdivision shall be given priority over recovery of a civil penalty designated by the court as imposed pursuant to subdivision (a), but shall not be given priority over a civil penalty imposed pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 17206. If the court determines that full restitution cannot be made to those senior citizens or disabled persons, either at the time of judgment or by a future date determined by the court, then restitution under this subdivision shall be made on a pro rata basis depending on the amount of loss.
(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 457, Sec. 3. (SB 1381) Effective January 1, 2013.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018