Kelly Holleran Aug. 29, 2013, 11:32am

A local insurance company claims it has unnecessarily incurred printing and paper costs after two businesses faxed it unwanted advertisements.

Warma, Witter, Kreisler, Gregov and Associates of O'Fallon filed two proposed class action lawsuits Aug. 13 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Park University Enterprises doing business as Fred Pryor Seminars and Roadside Trailer Services.

Phillip A. Bock, James M. Smith and Phillip J. Bullimore of Bock and Hatch in Chicago and Robert J. Sprague of Sprague and Urban in Belleville will be representing it.

In one of its complaint, Warma alleges it received 11 fax advertisements from Park University between Feb. 13 and April 11. All of the faxes advertised Park University’s products or services, according to the complaint. It received another unwanted fax from Roadside on Feb. 13, the suit states.

“On information and belief, defendants sent the same facsimiles to plaintiff and more than 39 other recipients without first receiving the recipients’ express permission or invitation,” the suit against Park University states. “This is based, in part, on the fact that plaintiff never gave permission to anyone to send the subject fax advertisement to it, and that sending advertisements by fax is a very cheap way to reach a wide audience.”

Warma claims Park University and Roadside are violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits the delivery of unsolicited advertisements, by sending the faxes.

In addition, the defendants failed to include a proper opt-out notice in their advertisements. The notices, which allow businesses to opt out of receiving the fax advertisements, are supposed to be large and clear, the complaint says. However, the defendants’ opt-out notices were placed in tiny font at the very bottom of the pages they sent out, Warma claims.

Park University and Roadside also violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act by forcing the insurance company to incur costs without receiving anything in return, according to the complaint.

“Defendants’ practice effectively forced plaintiff and the other class members to pay for defendants’ advertising campaign,” the suit states.

In the putative class-action complaints, Warma seeks class action status, plus damages of $500 to $1,000 for each violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, an injunction prohibiting the defendants from engaging in similar actions in the future and other relief the court deems just.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case numbers: 13-L-423, 13-L-422.

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