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General Business Statutes  

The following are excerpts from NYS Article 22-A: Consumer Protection From Deceptive Acts and Practices.

General business laws are broadly similar in other states.  They are relevant because most hospitals do not inform a patient when he arrives for voluntary treatment that he can be detained against his will.  This can be viewed as deceptive business practices, if not false advertising.


§  350-a.  False  advertising.  1.  The term "false advertising" means

  advertising, including  labeling,  of  a  commodity,  or  of  the  kind,

  character,  terms  or  conditions  of any employment opportunity if such

  advertising is misleading in a material respect. In determining whether

  any  advertising is misleading, there shall be taken into account (among

  other things) not only representations made by statement, word,  design,

  device,  sound  or any combination thereof, but also the extent to which

  the advertising fails to reveal facts material  in  the  light  of  such

  representations with respect to the commodity or employment to which the

  advertising   relates   under   the   conditions   prescribed   in  said

  advertisement, or under such conditions as are customary or  usual.  


§ 350-d.  Civil penalty. Any person, firm, corporation or association

  or agent or employee thereof who engages in any of the acts or practices

  stated in this article to be unlawful shall be liable to a civil penalty…


§ 349.  Deceptive  acts and practices unlawful. (a) Deceptive acts or

  practices in the conduct of any business, trade or commerce  or  in  the

  furnishing of any service in this state are hereby declared unlawful…. 

  (h) …any person who has been injured by  reason  of any  violation  of  

  this  section may bring an action in his own name to enjoin such unlawful 

  act or practice, an action to  recover  his  actual damages  or  fifty  dollars, 

  whichever is greater, or both such actions.

  The court may, in its discretion, increase the award of  damages  to  an

  amount  not  to exceed three times the actual damages up to one thousand

  dollars, if  the  court  finds  the  defendant  willfully  or  knowingly

  violated this section.




[this information is current to the best of our knowledge as of 2/14]