Frustrated SunPass users to seek legal options

Posted at 4:48 PM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 10:06:52-05

Frustrated drivers dealing with enormous SunPass bills want to know where they can turn for help.

Many say they have until March 31 to pay their bills or they’ll go to collections. But, they’re planning on fighting it.

Every time Richard Herrera drives to work now, he’s thinking about an outstanding bill from the Department of Transportation. “I received this bill in the mail with a different account number stating that I owe $768,” said Herrera.

A SunPass bill dating back to June shows his car and license plate and charges of up to $16 per toll transaction. He says he knows it has to be wrong.

“If I total, normally when I’m going to and from work, it should have totaled to $76.50,” said Herrera.

Herrera said he only uses the turnpike from West Palm Beach to Boca Raton to go to work and he has a transponder in his car, but somehow was charged through toll-by-plate.

“I hope this gets resolved because, listen, we're working-class people and we need to use the turnpike on a daily basis and unfortunately if this was a situation that was occurring maybe they needed to address it sooner,” added Herrera.

He and other drivers fed up with the alleged overcharges say they are looking to fight back in numbers. “I’d be part of a class-action lawsuit,” said Herrera.

But class-action litigation attorney David Rothstein in Miami says it’s not that simple. “A class action by definition means if one person wins the case, it wins the case for everyone else similarly situated and when the underlying claim is that you're being charged for having driven portions of road that you didn't in fact drive, one person proving that up doesn't necessarily prove that up for everyone else,” said Rothstein.

Rothstein says drivers should file a dispute and continue to collect documentation to help their case and seek help from a consumer-fraud lawyer.

“Definitely I think we need to find a solution to this problem,” said Herrera.