IL 2nd Dist. – Question Of Coverage Turns On Choice-Of-Law Analysis:

Pennsylvania law applies and no coverage for TCPA (“blast fax”) action.

The Illinois Second District Court of Appeals held that whether Maryland Casualty Company and Assurance Company of America (Zurich) must cover damages relating to a blast fax action turned on whether Pennsylvania or Illinois law applied.  Based on the court’s analysis of Pennsylvania federal court opinions, the court held a conflict of law exists between Illinois and Pennsylvania as to whether insurer owed a duty to defend under “property damage” provision of policies.  Factors under choice-of-law analysis weighed in favor of Pennsylvania law. Under Pennsylvania law, the complaint did not allege an “accident” and insurer had no duty to defendant under property damage provisions, and no duty to indemnify.  Unlike under Illinois law (see Standard Mut. Ins. Co. v. Norma Lay, et al., No. 4-11-0527 (Ill. App. Ct. Jan. 23, 2014), statements by the sender of the unsolicited faxes that he believed he had the recipients’ consent were not sufficient to qualify the conduct as accidents.  The case is G.M Sign, Inc. v. Pennswood Partners, Inc., 2014 IL App (2d) 121276 (March 24, 2014).

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