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We next note that treble damages can be awarded under each of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-16, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75D-8, and 18 U.S.C. § 1964. Furthermore, remedies for both state and federal RICO claims are cumulative on other remedies, see N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75D-10. Therefore, if treble damages are awarded under all three, and the compensatory damages are $14,650.30, then total damages (excluding punitive damages) are 9 times compensatory damages plus $4,000 in civil penalties under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-56, or $135,852.70.
In North Carolina, a plaintiff cannot receive both treble damages for unfair and deceptive trade practices and punitive damages for fraud when both claims are based on the same set of facts. Instead the plaintiff takes the greater of treble damages or punitive damages, Mapp v. Toyota World, Inc., 81 N.C. App. 421, 344 S.E.2d 297, disc. rev. denied, 318 N.C. 283, 347 S.E.2d 464 (1986). We presume that this same standard applies to our federal RICO claim, see N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1D-20. However, “a statute dealing with a specific situation controls, with respect to that situation, [over] sections which are general in their application.” State ex. rel. Util. Comm’n v. Lumbee River Elec. Membership Corp., 275 N.C. 250, 260, 166 S.E.2d 663, 670 (1969); see also Credit Union Ins. Corp. v. United States, 86 F.3d 1326 (4th Cir. 1996) (“a specific statute controls over a general provision…”). The general rule is that a plaintiff must chose between punitive damages and other multiple damages remedies, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1D-20. However, specifically for RICO violations, “[c]ivil remedies… are cumulative, supplemental and not exclusive…” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75D-10. Therefore, plaintiffs must chose between either damages multiplied by 9 for UDTP, federal RICO, and N.C. RICO, or punitive damages plus damages multiplied by 3 for N.C. RICO.
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I have to agree with you about the pro se complaint... my use of the word "creative" was a probably poor attempt at civility!
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