2022 Maryland Statutes
Commercial Law
Title 14 - Miscellaneous Consumer Protection Provisions
Subtitle 13 - Miscellaneous Provisions
Section 14-1325 - Nondisparagement Clauses in Consumer Contracts

    (a)    (1)    In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

        (2)    “Consumer” means an actual or a prospective purchaser, lessee, or recipient of consumer goods or services.

        (3)    “Consumer goods or services” means goods or services that are primarily for personal, household, or family purposes.

    (b)    A contract or a proposed contract for the sale or lease of consumer goods or services may not include a provision waiving the consumer’s right to make any statement concerning:

        (1)    The seller or lessor;

        (2)    Employees or agents of the seller or lessor; or

        (3)    The consumer goods or services.

    (c)    A person may not:

        (1)    Threaten or seek enforcement of a contract provision prohibited under subsection (b) of this section; or

        (2)    Penalize a consumer for making any statement protected under subsection (b) of this section.

    (d)    A waiver of any provision of this section is contrary to public policy and is void and unenforceable.

    (e)    This section may not be construed to prohibit or limit a person:

        (1)    That hosts online consumer reviews or comments from removing a statement that is otherwise lawful to remove;

        (2)    From including in a contract or a proposed contract for the sale or lease of consumer goods or services a provision prohibiting a consumer from disclosing proprietary information, techniques, or processes; or

        (3)    From bringing an action alleging that a statement made by a consumer is defamatory.

    (f)    A violation of this section is:

        (1)    An unfair and deceptive trade practice within the meaning of Title 13 of this article; and

        (2)    Subject to the enforcement and penalty provisions contained in Title 13 of this article.

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