Company files class action over unlawful taking of toner ink, paper and power

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 21, 2005, 7:57am

For the second time in two months, Locklear Electric of Wood River filed a class action lawsuit against a business which sent it an unsolicited fax.

"The unsolicited fax constitutes an unlawful taking of Locklear’s fax paper, toner ink, and electricity," according to a suit filed April 19 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Locklear's suit against Improvement Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz. claims that on Feb. 10 it received one or more unwanted faxes from the company. The suit, which is the second class action filed this week in Madison County and the 41st overall for the year, claims Improvement Inc. is liable for $1,500 in damages for each separate unsolicited fax it sent.

Locklear filed a similar class action complaint against National Association of Preferred Providers six days after President George W. Bush signed the Class Action Fairness Act into law on Feb. 18.

In order for the suit to be unaffected by a new federal law which governs whether class action lawsuits are filed in state or federal court, the complaint claims, “the aggregate of the class is less than $5 million."

The new Class Action Fairness Act calls for all cases seeking more than $5 million in damages be heard in federal court.

According to the complaint, Improvement did not obtain “prior express invitation or permission” before sending the fax advertisement in violation of the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The act provides that it is unlawful for any person to use a fax machine to send an unsolicited advertisement.

Locklear also is seeking an injunction to prohibit and prevent future violations.

Locklear is represented by Lanny Darr of Schrempf, Blaine, Kelly & Darr of Alton.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

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