Wisconsin court: Insurance must cover junk fax damages

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state appeals court says a Milwaukee heating and air conditioning company’s insurance provider must defend a lawsuit accusing the company of sending out an unsolicited “junk” fax.

Atlas Heating and Sheet Metal Works, Inc. sent a fax advertisement to Isaac Sawyer’s business, A-1 Security Locksmiths, in 2005. Sawyer has alleged in federal court that Atlas violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, cost him paper and toner and violated his privacy.

That case has been stayed while state judges determine if West Bend Mutual Insurance Co., Atlas’ insurance provider, had a duty to defend the case.

The 1st District Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday the insurance carrier does have such a duty because Atlas may have unintentionally violated Sawyer’s privacy rights.