Incorrectly sending faxes to companies that believed they had accepted to accept them is not an "accident," says a federal appeal court in maintaining a lower court in favor of a Travelers Cos Inc. entity that denied the claim coverage.
Atlanta-based MFG.com started a fax advertising program by purchasing lists of people they thought had agreed to receive marketing material by fax, according to Friday's 11th US Court of Justice ruling in Atlanta in GM Sign Inc., as creditors and holders of MFG.com against St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co.
Between September 18, 2005 and November 15, 2008, MFG sent about 494,212 fax ads to the people included in the purchased listings and believed that its advertising program was consistent with all applicable laws, according to them.
Round Lake, Illinois-based GM Sign, took a putative classic action against MFG charge violations of the Phone Protection Consumer Protection Act claiming that it and other members of the supposed class had not granted permission to receive the fax.
Finally, the disputes settled for approximately $ 22.5 million with MFG accepting to pay $ 460,000 of this amount and awarding GM the signature of their claims and entitlement to payment from its insurer, Traveler Unit St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co.
St. Paul denied coverage, and G.M. Sign in suit against insurer. The US District Court in Atlanta granted St. Paul's summary judgment in the case, which a three judge appealed unanimously to the court.
G. M. Sign argued St Paul is obliged to replace MFG for his TCPA liability since the term "accident" in the policy, according to Georgia's law, includes damages resulting from negligence, they said.
"St. Paul replies that no accident occurred when MFG sent the fax because MFG intended to cause relevant property damage: use of the recipient's fax machines and ink and paper discharges," the court said. [1
"Previously published precedents for this court require us to conclude that no accident occurred when MFG sent the relevant faxes here," said the verdict in confirmation of the court's judgment.
GM Signs lawyer had no comment, while a lawyer from St Paul could not be immediately reached for comment.
Disputes arising from alleged violations of the Consumer Protection Act, even though they fell in 2018 from previous years, are still a major headache for policyholders, who are also facing opposition from insurers who do not want to provide coverage.
In another TCPA case involving GM Sign, 2014, an Illinois appeal court constituted State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. was not responsible for a $ 4.99 million settlement resulting from a 2010 review order