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California: Lawsuit Possible Over Excessive Toll Road Fines
Motorists sue California toll road authority after it imposes fees of up to $93,000 for toll transponder errors.

91 Express Lanes
Sixteen California motorists are challenging excessive fees imposed by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) on those who either fail to pay a toll or experience an electronic payment transponder malfunction. The authority insists the group must pay $335,000 in individual amounts up to $93,000. OCTA will hear the group's appeal today. A class action lawsuit is possible.

"I'm hoping they reassess the process and do the right thing," Anat Levy, the lawyer for the motorists, told the Orange County Register.

Stephanie and Brian Young are part of the lawsuit. They racked up $580 in unpaid tolls in 2003 after the credit card linked to their toll transponder account expired. OCTA demanded that they pay $53,550 in fines.

In another case in 2005, the toll road charged David and Elizabeth Casillas $43,638 in fines. The couple incurred just $140.68 in unpaid tolls while driving their daughter to receive cancer treatment at the hospital with an outdated toll transponder account.

The 91 Express Lanes toll road generated $26.9 million in revenue in 2005.

Source: OCTA to examine toll road penalties (Orange County Register (CA), 2/26/2007)

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