407 lawsuit

Change the 407Act!  Please sign & share the petition  http://www.change.org/petitions/premier-kathlynn-wynne-glen-murray-tracy-maccharles-change-the-407act

Highway 407 is now the subject of a lawsuit by thousands of people who have travelled the roadway. Sean O’Shea reports.

407 operator facing $25-m lawsuit

The company that operates the 407 highway has been hit with a $25-million class action lawsuit over its allegedly “callous” toll collection practices.

Hamilton lawyers David Thompson and Matthew Moloci have launched the lawsuit on behalf of people who declared bankruptcy and owed the 407 ETR company outstanding tolls and fees at the time.

The lawsuit alleges that the 407 company has been unlawfully collecting outstanding fees by using measures that violate the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

The lawsuit’s statement of claim alleges the 407 ETR company uses the threat of denying a vehicle permit renewal to coerce payments from those people who should be protected under bankruptcy legislation.

The allegations contained in the statement of claim have not been proven in court.

The lawsuit also asks the court to order the 407 company to establish a $20-million trust fund to help reimburse class members who qualify.

“The conduct of 407 ETR was deliberate, callous, wilful, without care and with intentional disregard of the rights and circumstances of class members,” the lawsuit alleges. “407 ETR behaved with arrogance and high-handedness, demonstrating a callous disregard and complete lack of care for the rights of class members. The conduct of 407 ETR ought to be punished and deterred.”

A spokesperson for 407 ETR indicated that the company will defend itself against the lawsuit.

“This issue has been the subject of a decision of the Superior Court that concluded that there is no conflict between the Highway 407 Act and the bankruptcy legislation, and that the licence plate denial provisions applied,” said Kevin Sack, vice-president of communications for 407 ETR.

Under special provincial legislation that applies to the 407 highway, a vehicle owner’s licence plate renewal can be denied if there are outstanding 407 tolls and fees that haven’t been paid.

But when a person declares bankruptcy with 407 tolls and fees left owing, Thompson and Moloci contend that the 407 ETR company is no different than any other creditor in a bankruptcy and shouldn’t be able to use the threat of denying licence plate renewal to obtain payment ahead of other creditors.

“The vehicle permit renewal denial is a very powerful remedy,” said Thompson. “It really strangles many individuals, particularly bankrupts, who typically need to drive to get to work to earn an income so they can get back on their feet.

“It’s a powerful remedy that we say is being used against people who are in a very vulnerable position.”

In some cases, they say, the fee collection and denial of stickers continues even after a person has been discharged from bankruptcy.

“We think this is one of those cases where you have a government and a corporation that are doing stuff that they shouldn’t be allowed to do, and who’s going to fight with them? The bankrupt?” said Moloci. “Is the bankrupt really going to launch a $100,000 legal battle against the 407?

“Chances are they’re going to pay their thousand bucks in tolls or whatever, while biting their tongues, and then just try to get on with their lives.”

Since 2007, about 6,300 people have declared bankruptcy listing the 407 ETR company as a creditor.

Some of the 407 debts, including interest and penalties, are in the tens of thousands of dollars, according to Moloci, and under the current setup, that debt could possibly survive bankruptcy and keep those people from obtaining a licence plate sticker.

“If they had that type of money, they likely wouldn’t have needed to go bankrupt in the first place,” he added. “What are they going to do, go out and get a bank loan so they can get a vehicle permit? It’s ridiculous.”

Potential class members can visit classactionlaw.ca or call 905-526-4394 for more information.

Article Source: http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/716116–407-operator-facing-25-m-lawsuit

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7 Responses to “407 lawsuit”

  1. Sue says:

    I have a debt that started out at 690.00 and is now well into the 7000.00 mark. The thing is my ex spouse stated he would pay it as he used the 407 and I didn’t. He has not done so and I was a single mom with no work and my plate was denied, so I could not go to work making my problems worse. The 407 refuses to deal with it and I would like to know if I am able to get in on the class action? I did have to cash everything I had out to pay my mortgage and couldn’t work due to illness for three years, I am now on my feet, but why should I pay this bill? Can you help me?
    Sincerely frustrated,
    Sue Saunders

  2. tony Gibson says:

    how do I get Involved in this class action suit against the 407? they have been trying to force me to pay a ridiculos amount of money for usage that I know nothing about

  3. charleneb says:

    anyone wanting to get in on the class action lawsuit should check out this link


    You can contact the lawyer and get added to the database of names. ANyone who has ever been in proposal or bankruptcy and been denied plates after the discharge/completion is automatically part of it unless you opt out.

    I sent my name in because my outstanding tolls (from 10 years ago) are over 43K and counting..never payoffable ever, especially now that I’ve had to go bankrupt over it. Oh yes, 407 finally sued me in late 2011 for my year 2000 bill. So not only do they ignore the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, they ignore Statute of Limitation laws in place to protect consumers.

  4. Fred Wimmershoff says:

    I am very much in the same situation. I was hit by a car 12 years ago and I have not owned a car for at least that long yet, I have not one but two ETR bills which are over $10,000 each. I am on disability and I get roughly $15000/yr. The interest alone on one bill is 260../month x2. The ETR’s answer was to put a lien on all of my assists. The court actually issued a Writ of Seizure and Sale of my assists. That was issued 3 years ago. If I wish to get a new mortgage I cannot do so until I pay the extortionist ETR $20,000.

    Was this the vision our province had for it’s citizens when we sold our highway that tax payers paid to have built. Why does a foreign entity have more rights than a Canadian Citizen. The ETR is not a good corporate citizen and I find it curious that it is above the law, in that, it does not have to conform to standard business practises. What other company can let bills be suppressed and let them go on forever? It sounds a lot like gratuitous and creative billing. Where else can you earn 26 per cent interest without doing anything but just let it ride.

    The government needs to re-examine the whole ETR Act. I never realized that a company could get the court to support them in their practises. We need Robin Hood because the Sheriff of Nottingham has gone berserk

    • Tammy Flores says:

      LOL I love the Robin Hood analogy. Fred, I hope you have signed our petition and help us share it. We can change the Act, but it will take a ground swell. We need all the help we can get.

  5. pat ward says:

    407 say I owe them a bill from 2003. They won’t provide any documentation that I owe them. What do I do?

  6. Hosting says:

    The president hopes to revive the economic populism that helped drive his election campaign, signing an order in politically important Wisconsin to tighten rules on technology companies bringing in highly skilled foreign workers. Highway 407 to pay consumers, lawyers $8M in class action lawsuit settlement’; _sf_async_config.

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