Click Fraud Protection $1.35 Million Class Action Settlement in EZ Pass 495 Express Litigation - Tycko & Zavareei LLP
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$1.35 Million Class Action Settlement in EZ Pass 495 Express Litigation

Outcome: $1,350,000 Settlement

Brown, et al. v. Transurban (USA), Inc., et al., Case No.: 1:15-cv-00494-JCC-MSN in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

In 2015, thirty-seven million people used electric transponders, such as EZ-Pass, to pay tolls on American roads. Like many drivers, class members in Tycko & Zavareei’s financial services case Brown v. Transurban Inc. likely appreciated the convenience of electronic tolling–never aware that they would be charged excessive fees when their transponders failed to execute the transaction. The plaintiffs in this case maintained positive balances in the EZ-Pass accounts and kept their transponders mounted on their dashboards, but they still received toll violations when their transponders failed to register their trips.

Members of the class had no way of knowing that they had missed tolls until they received notice from toll operator Transurban informing them that they owed tolls—and fees. Transurban is allowed to charge travelers reasonable fees and penalties for toll violations, but the fees Transurban charged plaintiffs were far from reasonable. One plaintiff was charged $9,440.90 for missing $20.15 in tolls. Another was charged $15,633.10 for $30.65 in missed tolls. When plaintiffs refused to pay the excessive tolls, their accounts were sent to debt collection agencies. About TZ, Judge James C. Cacheris wrote:

Plaintiffs’ Counsel has an extensive record of representing plaintiffs in consumer protection class actions, which indicates counsel’s ability to properly leverage the value of this case into a fair settlement […] That record was reaffirmed throughout this case, wherein Plaintiffs’ Counsel argued vigorously at the motion to dismiss stage and engaged Defendants in settlement mediation.

Tycko & Zavareei was able to obtain a $1,350,000 settlement for people who paid toll fees to Transurban at the collections stage. Additionally, the settlement agreement required Transurban to forgive any tolls and fees at the collections stage that were more than one year old from the date of the toll violation. The settlement also included provisions requiring Transurban improve its process for alerting E-Z Pass users of any toll violations. In connection with the case, the Virginia Department of Transportation also agreed to improve their notification process. With this settlement, Tycko & Zavareei continues our fight protect consumers from unfair and excessive fees.

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