WJTV News Channel 12 - Lawsuit accusing state of tolls overcharge goes forward

Lawsuit accusing state of tolls overcharge goes forward

Posted: Updated:
  • Lawsuit accusing state of tolls overcharge goes forwardMore>>

  • Lawsuit claims SunPass tolls defective

    Lawsuit claims SunPass tolls defective

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:54 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:54:44 GMT
    A Plant City trucker claims tolling equipment on Florida highways is defective and that the state's Department of Transportation continues to overbill him.
    A Plant City trucker claims tolling equipment on Florida highways is defective and that the state's Department of Transportation continues to overbill him.
TALLAHASSEE, FL (WFLA) -

A judge in Tallahassee gave the green light Thursday to a lawsuit that claims drivers using Florida toll roads are overcharged.

For years, viewers have contacted 8 On Your Side about problems with electronic tolling: including over-charges or plate misreads.

Plant City trucker John Northrup had his fill of the state over charging him month after month, so he filed a lawsuit.

The Florida Department of Transportation wanted the litigation thrown out. Judge James Hankinson rejected the state's motion to dismiss and ordered Northrup and his attorney to include every expressway authority in Florida in the complaint.

"This is a problem that has been going on for several years and has not been corrected," Northrup attorney Cory Fein said.

Northrup intently watched the court hearing in Tallahassee Thursday.

Much like he intently watches his monthly Sunpass billing statements.

"It's been two years of complete nightmare," Northrup expressed.

John Northrup drives a 5-axle rig. An 8 On Your Side investigation last year found Sunpass charged him for 6, 7, 8 even 9 axles more than 170 times.

"There's something flawed in their system," Northrup insisted.

The Department of Transportation has given Northrup three different explanations about why he is repeatedly over charged.

It even put the three transponders he uses on his rig and personal cars on a special watch list.

"All three transponders have been over charged and I've also had billing for approximately 25 tolls for the Broward County school district applied to my account," Northrup complained.

Northrup is suing FDOT, claiming Sunpass and Toll By Plate use defective equipment.

This litigation isn't just about truckers who stand to lose thousands of dollars, 8 On Your side received several calls from several folks who were charged for vehicles they don't even own.

Gale Segura received bills four times from the state's Toll By Plate program charging her for a silver Toyota with an Alabama plate. The problem is she doesn't own a Toyota.

"I said, can you look at the picture that you sent me and look at the license plate, it's not a black Hummer and it's not even a Florida plate," Segura said.

"There's all reasons why you get a might get a misread or a misidentification. It doesn't happen very often when it does happen when we are aware of it we fix it," FDOT attorney Paul Martin said.

Martin contends there is no perfect electronic tolling system. And that Sunpass and Toll By Plate use the most advanced and effective electronic equipment available.

"There are a lot of people who use the toll roads," Northrup attorney Fein stated."And when it's a few hundred dollars per person it doesn 't take much to multiply that up to get numbers into the 10 million dollars plus range."

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



  • Don't Miss ItMore>>

  • Young heart patient's family to donate 'extra money' to others on transplant list

    Young heart patient's family to donate 'extra money' to others on transplant list

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:46 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:46:17 GMT
    Little Hudson. Image courtesy Hudson's Heart Community/FacebookLittle Hudson. Image courtesy Hudson's Heart Community/Facebook
    A Durham family has surpassed their fundraising goal to help pay for mounting medical bills for their 2-month-old son in need of a new heart, and they say they plan to donate any extra money to other families of children in need of organ transplants.
    A Durham family has surpassed their fundraising goal to help pay for mounting medical bills for their 2-month-old son in need of a new heart, and they say they plan to donate any extra money to other families of children in need of organ transplants.
  • 'Pointer Brothers' Gus and Travis have plenty of Instagram charm

    'Pointer Brothers' Gus and Travis have plenty of Instagram charm

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:08:17 GMT
    The Pointer Brothers on InstagramThe Pointer Brothers on Instagram
    If you have an Instagram account, you know how creative some of the photos can be.We came across this adorable pair of pooches, Gus and Travis, who are nicknamed "The Pointer Brothers".
    If you have an Instagram account, you know how creative some of the photos can be.We came across this adorable pair of pooches, Gus and Travis, who are nicknamed "The Pointer Brothers".
  • 10-year-old goldfish has surgery to remove tumor

    10-year-old goldfish has surgery to remove tumor

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:21 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:21:55 GMT
    George the goldfish had surgery to remove a tumor from his head (Photo courtesy Facebook/Lort Smith)George the goldfish had surgery to remove a tumor from his head (Photo courtesy Facebook/Lort Smith)
    The veterinarian who removed a tumor from 10-year-old George the goldfish says the surgery went "swimmingly."
    The veterinarian who removed a tumor from 10-year-old George the goldfish says the surgery went "swimmingly."
  • Most Viewed Stories on WFLA.com

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1820 TV Road
Jackson, MS 39204

Telephone: 601.372.6311
Fax: 804.819.5569
Email: wjtvnews@wjtv.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.