The Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (CPL) in 1968 to protect the commonwealth’s consumers by prohibiting “unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.”

To give the CPL a sharp bite and dissuade bad actors from engaging in such methods, acts, or practices, the General Assembly authorized trial courts under the CPL to award, in their discretion, “up to three times the actual damages sustained.” But the CPL does not provide trial courts standards for how they should exercise their discretion when awarding such damages, especially when a plaintiff alleges both CPL claims and common-law claims against a defendant.