California’s Supreme Court has limited the scope of treble damage awards in an action involving claims that the defendant insurance companies violated California’s Unfair Competition Law by using deceptive business practices to induce seniors to purchase annuities with high commissions and large surrender penalties. The court of appeal in Clark v. Superior Court had held that plaintiffs’ restitution remedy could be trebled under California Civil Code § 3345, which allows for trebling of damages where the trier of fact “is authorized by statute to impose a fine, or a civil penalty or other penalty, or any other remedy the purpose or effect of which is to punish or deter,” reasoning that restitution could have a deterrent effect. The Supreme Court of California reversed on statutory construction grounds, holding that because “[a]ll remedies have some incidental deterrent effect,” the deterrence language, and thus the trebling provision itself, applied only to remedies in the nature of penalties. Thus, the court concluded that a claim for restitution (a remedy pertaining to recovery rather than punishment) does not fall under the trebling provision. Jorden Burt LLP submitted an amicus brief espousing the positions adopted by the California Supreme court.