In order to be liable, the defendant only need to have been a PRODUCING CAUSE (not necessarily the proximate cause, so this is the lowest standard in Texas).
- Damages are as follows:
- (1) Generally, only economic damages are allowed
- (2) If act was knowing (knew of act) = 3x (treble) economic damages + mental anguish
- (3) If act was intentional (desired act or had substantial certainty) = 3x economic damages and 3x mental anguish
- (4) If act was knowingly and violation occurs under a tie-in statute = 3x actual damages
Plaintiff must also be awarded costs and reasonable attorney’s fees – contingency agreements not binding on court; must show reasonableness of attorney’s fees.
If court finds that the action was groundless, brought in bad faith, or brought for purposes of harassment, in which case the court SHALL award defendant’s costs and attorney’s fees.