CHAPTER 743q

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY DEVICES

Table of Contents

Sec. 42-330. Definitions.

Sec. 42-331. Remedies for nonconformity in assistive technology device. Repair, replacement or refund.

Sec. 42-332. Return by consumer of assistive technology device having nonconformity.

Sec. 42-333. Disclosure of reasons for return of assistive technology device prior to sale or lease.

Sec. 42-334. Regulations.

Sec. 42-335. Civil action against manufacturer, dealer or lessor of assistive technology device.

Sec. 42-336. Rights or remedies not limited. Waiver invalid.

Secs. 42-337 to 42-344. Reserved


Sec. 42-330. Definitions. As used in sections 42-330 to 42-336, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Assistive technology device” means any device sold, leased or transferred in this state or to a consumer in this state on or after January 1, 1998, that is used or designed to be used to enable or enhance the ability of a person with a disability to communicate, see, hear or achieve mobility, including, but not limited to, (A) manual or motor-driven wheelchairs and other assistive devices that enhance a mobility impaired person’s ability to achieve mobility, including seating and positioning aids, (B) telephone communication devices for the hearing impaired and other assistive listening devices that enhance a hearing impaired person’s ability to hear or communicate, but not including hearing aids, (C) voice synthesized computer modules, optical scanners, talking software, braille printers and other assistive devices that enhance a sight impaired person’s ability to see or communicate, (D) computer equipment with voice output, artificial larynges, voice amplification devices and other alternative and augmentative communication devices, (E) any system of such devices that, as a whole, is itself such a device, (F) any component product of such devices that is itself ordinarily such a device, and (G) any such device used primarily by a dealer, lessor or manufacturer for the purpose of demonstration to the public or to prospective purchasers or lessees. “Assistive technology device” does not include batteries used in or nonessential accessories to any such devices.

(2) “Collateral costs” means expenses incurred by a consumer in connection with the repair of a nonconformity in an assistive technology device, including, but not limited to, the cost of an alternative assistive technology device.

(3) “Consumer” means any person (A) who purchases an assistive technology device from a dealer or manufacturer for purposes other than for resale, (B) to whom an assistive technology device is transferred if such transfer occurs before the expiration of an express warranty applicable to such assistive technology device, (C) who may enforce an express warranty applicable to an assistive technology device, or (D) who leases an assistive technology device from a lessor under a written lease.

(4) “Dealer” means any person engaged in the business of selling assistive technology devices to consumers.

(5) “Early termination cost” means an expense or obligation that a lessor incurs as a result of both the termination of a written lease for an assistive technology device before the expiration of the lease term and the return of an assistive technology device to a manufacturer under subsection (b) of section 42-331, including any penalty for prepayment required under any financing arrangement.

(6) “Early termination savings” means an expense or obligation that a lessor avoids as a result of both the termination of a written lease for an assistive technology device before the expiration of the lease term and the return of an assistive technology device to a manufacturer under subsection (b) of section 42-331, including any interest charge that the lessor would have paid to finance the assistive technology device or, if not so financed by the lessor, the difference between the total amount for which the lease obligates the consumer during the period of the lease term remaining after the early termination and the present value of the consumer’s remaining obligation under the lease as of the date of the early termination.

(7) “Express warranty” means an express warranty under section 42a-2-313 that is applicable to an assistive technology device.

(8) “Lessor” means any person who leases an assistive technology device to consumers or who possesses a lessor’s rights under a written lease for an assistive technology device.

(9) “Manufacturer” means any person who manufactures or assembles assistive technology devices, and any agent of such person, including importers, distributors, factory branches, distributor branches and warrantors of such person’s assistive technology devices, but does not include a dealer, a lessor or any person whose activity consists solely of referring consumers to a dealer, a lessor or any person described in this subdivision.

(10) “Nonconformity” means a condition, malfunction or defect that substantially impairs the use, value or safety of an assistive technology device or that is covered by an express warranty applicable to an assistive technology device, but does not include a condition or defect that is the result of abuse, neglect or unauthorized modification or alteration of the assistive technology device.

(11) “Person with a disability” has the same meaning as set forth in section 46a-8.

(P.A. 97-100, S. 1.)

Sec. 42-331. Remedies for nonconformity in assistive technology device. Repair, replacement or refund. (a) If a nonconformity in an assistive technology device occurs or exists during the term of an express warranty applicable to the assistive technology device or within two years of the delivery of the assistive technology device to a consumer, whichever is longer, and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer of the assistive technology device or to any of such manufacturer’s authorized dealers or lessors and makes the assistive technology device available for repair during such period, the manufacturer shall repair the nonconformity or cause the nonconformity to be repaired in accordance with this section. If the manufacturer authorizes a dealer or lessor to make any such repair, the manufacturer shall reimburse the dealer or lessor for the cost of such repair. The manufacturer shall respond to a dealer’s or lessor’s request for authorization to repair an assistive technology device not later than the end of the business day following the business day on which such request was made.

(b) After an assistive technology device is made available for repair under subsection (a) of this section, the manufacturer shall reimburse the consumer for the reasonable per day cost incurred by the consumer for the use of an equivalent assistive technology device during the repair period if: (1) The repair period exceeds ten business days, including the business day on which the assistive technology device is made available to the manufacturer or dealer for repair; or (2) the nonconformity is the same as a nonconformity for which the assistive technology device has been made available for repair under subsection (a) of this section on at least two previous occasions.

(c) If an assistive technology device is made available to a dealer or lessor for repair by the manufacturer under subsection (a) of this section and the dealer or lessor fails to forward the assistive technology device to the manufacturer in time for the manufacturer to make the repair within ten business days after the business day on which the assistive technology device was made available to the dealer or lessor, the dealer or lessor shall reimburse the manufacturer for any amount actually paid to the consumer under subsection (b) of this section.

(d) If an assistive technology device is made available for repair under subsection (a) of this section at least three times for the same nonconformity during the term of an express warranty applicable to the assistive technology device or within two years of the delivery of the assistive technology device to a consumer, whichever is longer, or is out of service due to the same nonconformity for not less than thirty consecutive or nonconsecutive calendar days during such period, and such nonconformity is not repaired:

(1) If such assistive technology device was purchased, the manufacturer shall, as directed by the consumer, either (A) accept return of the assistive technology device, replace such returned assistive technology device with an alternative assistive technology device of comparable quality, size and function, and refund any collateral costs paid by the consumer or by a holder of a perfected security interest in the returned assistive technology device; or (B) accept return of the assistive technology device and refund to the consumer or to the holder of a perfected security interest in the returned assistive technology device, or both in proportions as may be applicable, an amount not exceeding the full purchase price plus any finance charge, sales tax, shipping cost and collateral costs paid by the consumer or by such holder, minus a reasonable allowance for use. Such reasonable allowance for use shall not exceed an amount obtained by multiplying the full purchase price of the returned assistive technology device by a fraction, the denominator of which is 1,825 and the numerator of which is the number of days that the returned assistive technology device was used before the consumer first reported the nonconformity under subsection (a) of this section.

(2) If such assistive technology device was leased, the manufacturer shall, as directed by the lessor in accordance with the election of remedies by the consumer, either (A) accept return of the assistive technology device, replace such returned assistive technology device with an alternative assistive technology device of comparable quality, size and function which shall be furnished by the lessor to the consumer as provided in subsection (b) of section 42-332, and refund any collateral costs paid by the lessor or by a holder of a perfected security interest in the returned assistive technology device; or (B) accept return of the assistive technology device, refund to the lessor or to the holder of a perfected security interest in the returned assistive technology device, or both in proportions as may be applicable, the current value of the lease, and reimburse the lessor for, and the lessor shall refund to the consumer as provided in subsection (b) of section 42-332, the amount paid by the consumer under the lease as of the date of such return plus any collateral costs, minus a reasonable allowance for use. For purposes of this subdivision, the current value of such lease equals the total amount for which such lease obligates the consumer during the period of the lease term remaining after its early termination under this subdivision plus the lessor’s early termination costs and the value of the assistive technology device at the expiration of the lease term, if such value is set forth in the lease, minus the lessor’s early termination savings. Such reasonable allowance for use shall not exceed an amount obtained by multiplying the total amount for which such lease obligates the consumer by a fraction, the denominator of which is 1,825 and the numerator of which is the number of days that the returned assistive technology device was used before the consumer first reported the nonconformity under subsection (a) of this section.

(P.A. 97-100, S. 2.)

Sec. 42-332. Return by consumer of assistive technology device having nonconformity. (a) Any consumer who elects a remedy available under subdivision (1) of subsection (d) of section 42-331 shall first offer to transfer the assistive technology device to the manufacturer. Not later than thirty business days after the date such offer is made, the manufacturer shall provide the consumer with the refund or the alternative assistive technology device required by said subdivision. Upon receipt of such refund or alternative assistive technology device, the consumer shall, at the manufacturer’s expense, return the assistive technology device having the nonconformity to the manufacturer or, if directed by the manufacturer, to a dealer, together with any endorsements necessary to make such transfer.

(b) Any consumer who elects a remedy available under subdivision (2) of subsection (d) of section 42-331 shall first offer to return the assistive technology device to the lessor. Not later than thirty business days after the date such offer is made, the lessor shall provide the consumer with the refund or the alternative assistive technology device required by said subdivision. Upon receipt of such refund or alternative assistive technology device, the consumer shall return the assistive technology device having the nonconformity to the lessor at the lessor’s expense. Upon such return, the lessor shall offer to return such assistive technology device to the manufacturer. Not later than thirty business days after the date such offer is made by the lessor, the manufacturer shall reimburse the lessor for any such refund made to the consumer plus any expenses incurred by the lessor in the return of such assistive technology device by the consumer. Upon receipt of such reimbursement, the lessor shall, if directed by the manufacturer and at the manufacturer’s expense, return the assistive technology device having the nonconformity to the manufacturer, together with any endorsements necessary to make such transfer.

(P.A. 97-100, S. 3.)

Sec. 42-333. Disclosure of reasons for return of assistive technology device prior to sale or lease. No assistive technology device that is returned by a consumer in this state under sections 42-331 and 42-332, or by a consumer in another state under a similar law of such state, may be sold, leased or offered for sale or lease in this state on or after January 1, 1998, unless full disclosure of the reasons for such return is made to any prospective consumer who may purchase, lease or receive transfer of such assistive technology device.

(P.A. 97-100, S. 4.)

Sec. 42-334. Regulations. The Commissioner of Consumer Protection, in consultation with the director of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of sections 42-330 to 42-333, inclusive. Such regulations may establish an alternative dispute resolution program to investigate and adjudicate disputes arising under sections 42-330 to 42-333, inclusive.

(P.A. 97-100, S. 5; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(c); P.A. 04-189, S. 1.)

History: June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 replaced Commissioner of Consumer Protection with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004.

Sec. 42-335. Civil action against manufacturer, dealer or lessor of assistive technology device. In addition to any other remedy available under the laws of this state, a consumer may bring a civil action against a manufacturer, dealer or lessor of an assistive technology device based on an alleged violation of the provisions of sections 42-330 to 42-336, inclusive. If the court determines that such manufacturer, dealer or lessor violated any provision of sections 42-330 to 42-336, inclusive, the court shall award the consumer the amount of actual damages caused by such violation and may, in its discretion, award to the consumer costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

(P.A. 97-100, S. 6.)

Sec. 42-336. Rights or remedies not limited. Waiver invalid. (a) Nothing in sections 42-330 to 42-336, inclusive, shall in any way limit the rights or remedies that are otherwise available to a consumer under any other law.

(b) No act or agreement of a consumer shall constitute a valid waiver of any of the provisions of sections 42-330 to 42-336, inclusive.

(P.A. 97-100, S. 7.)

Secs. 42-337 to 42-344. Reserved for future use.