Locklear Electric files two new class actions over unsolicited faxes

Kelly Holleran Jun. 18, 2009, 2:45am

A Wood River electric company has filed two new separate class action lawsuits against a chiropractor's office and a real estate company, alleging the office and company sent unsolicited faxes to it, causing a waste of paper and employee time.

Both complaints by Locklear Electric are nearly identical and were filed on the same day in Madison County Circuit Court. With these new suits, Locklear has now filed at least seven class action lawsuits over unsolicited faxes since February 2005.

In one of the complaints, Locklear Electric says it received a faxed advertisement from Theodore Lay and Norma Lay, doing business as Ted Lay Real Estate Agency, on June 13, 2006, without Locklear's permission.

In the other lawsuit, Locklear says it received another faxed advertisement from Taylorville Chiropractic Clinic on Sept. 25, 2006.

At least 39 other businesses also received both faxes, Locklear claims.

The two new cases do not include a printed name of the attorney or attorneys representing Locklear. On the last pages of the filings, an attorney's illegible signature appears as "one of plaintiff's attorneys."

In the previous five class action lawsuits, Lanny Darr of Schrempf, Kelly, Napp and Darr in Alton represents the plaintiffs.

"Unsolicited faxes damage their recipients," the suits filed June 9 state. "A junk fax recipient loses the use of fax machine, paper, and ink toner. Unsolicited faxes prevent fax machines from receiving authorized faxes, prevent their use for authorized outgoing faxes, cause undue wear and tear on the recipients' fax machines, and require additional labor to attempt to discern the source and purpose of the unsolicited message."

By sending the unsolicited fax, Ted Lay Real Estate Agency and Taylorsville Chiropractic Clinic violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act the unfairness predicate of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, according to the complaint.

Locklear is asking the court to declare the case as a class action lawsuit and to enter an injunction prohibiting Ted Lay Real Estate Agency from sending other unsolicited faxes. It is also seeking more than $500 for each violation of the TCPA and other relief of not more than $75,000 for each class plaintiff included in the suits, plus costs and attorney's fees.

Madison County Circuit Court case numbers: 09-L-605, 09-L-606.

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