Attorney Mark Milsop’s brief helped the Pennsylvania Supreme Court strengthen consumer protections in the commonwealth.
Pennsylvania, February 17, 2021 — Berger and Green is proud of the role one of our attorneys recently played in strengthening consumer protection laws in Pennsylvania. Attorney Mark Milsop authored the Amicus Curiae Brief on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice in Gregg v. Ameriprise.
This brief helped pave the way for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to rule favorably on behalf of citizens, strengthening the consumer protection laws in Pennsylvania. In the February 17 decision, the Court ruled that consumers have protections from fraudulent acts or deceptive conduct, confirming a more consumer-friendly interpretation of the law.
Consumers do not have to prove the defendant’s state of mind
Before 1996, the courts interpreted the “catch-all” provision of the consumer protection law as requiring that the consumer prove all of the elements of fraud including an intent to deceive.
In 1996, an amendment to the law changed the language to impose liability for “fraudulent or deceptive” actions. However, insurers, businesses, and others fighting against consumers in these cases continued to demand that injured parties prove the defendant’s fraudulent intent to hold them liable.
Gregg v. Ameriprise challenged this, with the law firm representing Gregg claiming their client was deceived into making an investment decision and should not have to prove the at-fault party’s state of mind to hold the investment company responsible. The Supreme Court ruled in Gregg’s favor, thanks in part to Attorney Milsop’s work.
The brief convinced the Court a plain interpretation of the law was best
One argument the Supreme Court faced in its decision was that using this interpretation of the law would lead to much more litigation and bad economic outcomes for companies who were innocent. Attorney Milsop’s amicus brief refuted this claim.
Milsop pointed out that because the consumers would still need to prove that the deceptive conduct led to confusion or misunderstanding there would be safeguards to protect innocent companies while still allowing consumers to recover from companies that engaged in deceptive conduct. Milsop’s amicus brief was submitted on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice. The Pennsylvania Attorney General and a coalition of consumer rights organizations also submitted amicus briefs concurring in the positions set forth by Milsop.
The defendants had a wealth of support from insurance companies, large corporations, and other business interests.
Berger and Green believe in consumer-friendly protection laws
Berger and Green and Attorney Milsop seek to protect the rights of individuals in and around Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We believe that consumers have a right to hold those who cause them physical, emotional, or economic harm responsible.
Our practice centers on pursuing compensation or disability benefits for those in need in our community. This includes fighting for their best interests if a fraudulent or deceptive business, organization, or insurance company threatens their life or livelihood.
About Berger and Green
Berger and Green is a personal injury and Social Security Disability law firm representing clients in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. We work with clients to get compensation or benefits to ensure their health and financial stability.
To learn more about our team or our services, contact (412) 661-1400.