Where there were no state court cases on an insurance-coverage issue, two unreported cases from a federal district court within that state which purported to predict how the state's highest court would rule were not state law and did not create a conflict with the law of a neighboring jurisdiction so as to call for significant-contacts analysis-- Erie .
For APPELLANT: Mr. David Max Oppenheim, Mr. Brian John Wanca, Mr. Jeffrey Alan Berman, Anderson Wanca, Anderson Wanca, Rolling Meadows, IL; Mr. Phillip Andrew Bock, Mr. Robert Manning Hatch, Bock & Hatch, LLC, Bock & Hatch, LLC, Chicago, IL.
For APPELLEE: Ms. Rosa Maria Tumialan-Landy, Mr. Michael Cullen Borders, Dykema Gossett PLLC, Dykema Gossett PLLC, Chicago, IL; Mr. Vincent A. Lavieri, Gardiner, Koch, Weisberg & Wrona, Gardiner, Koch, Weisberg & Wrona, Chicago, IL.
For AMICUS CURIAE: Mr. Michael Miron Marick, Mr. Timothy Hamilton Wright, Ms. Karen Marie Dixon, Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP, Chicago, IL.
JUSTICE BURKE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Chief Justice Garman and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Kilbride, Karmeier, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.
[¶1] This appeal presents the following question: When a federal district court sitting in a sister state makes a prediction under Erie R.R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64, 58 S.Ct. 817, 82 L.Ed. 1188 (1938), that the supreme court of that state would resolve a legal issue in a way that is at odds with Illinois law, does that prediction, in itself, establish an actual conflict between the two states' laws for purposes of a choice-of-law analysis? For the reasons that follow, we answer that question in the negative.
[¶3] Bridgeview Health Care Center, Ltd. (Bridgeview), an Illinois corporation, filed a three-count, class action complaint in the federal district court of Northern Illinois against Jerry Clark, d/b/a Affordable Digital Hearing. Clark is an Illinois resident who operates Affordable Digital Hearing, a sole proprietorship dealing in the sale and repair of hearing aids, out of Terre Haute, Indiana. Bridgeview's complaint alleged that Clark sent Bridgeview and others across the United States unsolicited faxes in June of 2006. Count I of the complaint sought recovery under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) (47 U.S.C. § 227 (2006)). Count II alleged that Clark was liable for common law conversion of Bridgeview's fax machine paper
and toner. Count III alleged a violation of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (815 ILCS 505/2 et seq . (West 2010)).
[¶4] Clark was insured under a comprehensive general liability policy issued by State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, an Illinois corporation. The policy was purchased through an agent in Indiana and issued to Clark at his business address in Indiana out of State Farm's West Lafayette, Indiana office. Relevant here, the policy provided certain business liability coverage under both a ...