Substitute Senate Bill No. 1112
         Substitute Senate Bill No. 1112

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-100


AN   ACT  CONCERNING  THE  SECURITY  OF  ASSISTIVE
TECHNOLOGY DEVICES.


    Be it enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section 1. (NEW)  As  used in this act, 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 2 of this act, 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  2  of this act,
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  of  the general
statutes  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  of  the
general statutes.
    Sec. 2. (NEW)  (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  3  of  this  act,  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  3  of this act, 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.
    Sec. 3. (NEW)  (a)  Any  consumer who elects a
remedy   available  under   subdivision   (1)   of
subsection (d) of  section  2  of  this  act 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
2 of this  act  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.
    Sec. 4. (NEW)  No  assistive technology device
that is returned by a consumer in this state under
sections 2 and  3 of this act, 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.
    Sec. 5. (NEW)  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   of   the  general
statutes, to carry  out the provisions of sections
1 to 4,  inclusive,  of this act. Such regulations
may establish an  alternative  dispute  resolution
program  to investigate  and  adjudicate  disputes
arising under sections  1 to 4, inclusive, of this
act.
    Sec. 6. (NEW)  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
this  act.  If  the  court  determines  that  such
manufacturer,  dealer  or   lessor   violated  any
provision of this  act,  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.
    Sec. 7. (NEW) (a) Nothing in this act 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 this act.

Approved June 6, 1997