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§17A-6A-16. Actions at law; damages.

(1) If a manufacturer or distributor terminates, cancels, fails to renew or discontinues a dealer agreement for other than good cause as defined in this article, or commits any other violation of this article, the new motor vehicle dealer adversely affected by the actions may bring an action for damages and equitable relief against the manufacturer or distributor. If the new motor vehicle dealer prevails, the dealer may recover, in addition to actual damages, treble damages up to three times the amount of the actual damages awarded, plus reasonable attorney's fees, regardless of the amount in controversy. For the purposes of the award of attorney's fees and costs, whenever the new motor vehicle dealer is seeking injunctive or other relief, the dealer may be considered to have prevailed when a judgment or other final order providing equitable relief is entered in its favor.

(2) A manufacturer or distributor who violates this article is liable for all damages sustained by a new motor vehicle dealer as a result of the violation.

(3) A manufacturer or distributor or new motor vehicle dealer may bring an action for declaratory judgment for determination of any controversy arising pursuant to this article.

(4) Any corporation or association which is primarily owned by or composed of dealers and which primarily represents the interests of dealers has standing to file a petition or cause of action with the court of competent jurisdiction for itself or by, for or on behalf of any, or a group of, new motor vehicle dealers for any violation of this article or for the determination of any rights created by this article.

(5) In addition to any county in which venue is proper in accordance with the Constitution and laws of this state, in any cause of action brought by a new motor vehicle dealer against a manufacturer or distributor for any violation of this article or for the determination of any rights created by the dealer's franchise agreement, venue is proper in the county in which the dealer is engaged in the business of selling the products or services of the manufacturer or distributor.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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