Suburban Express drops lawsuits and updates terms and conditions

By Corinne Ruff

Ford County Circuit Court on Tuesday dismissed 126 small claims lawsuits filed by Suburban Express against passengers who violated the company’s terms and conditions.

Kim Evans, the county’s circuit clerk, confirmed that circuit judge Steve Pacey dismissed the cases with prejudice after the company filed a motion for the action Monday.

Evans said several cases were filed under a misspelling of the bus company, which led to confusion about the total number of lawsuits filed.

In a statement provided to The Daily Illini, Suburban Express said it decided to drop the lawsuits over the weekend.

“We recognized that this legal approach of trying to uphold our agreement with customers carries with it a negative perception that we do not intend,” they said.

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Appearances in court scheduled for Tuesday afternoon were also canceled, including the case of Manfred Kubler, freshman in LAS.

Kubler said his attorney, who works with Martensen & Niemann in Paxton, Ill., attended the court appearance to represent him in his $500 lawsuit for “liquidated damages” but left once the case was dismissed.

“It’s nice to have the $500 dismissed, but I was still personally attacked by this man (Dennis Toeppen) and unjustly put on a list and cannot ride the bus, which is very inconvenient,” Kubler said.

He said as he was about to return to Champaign on a Suburban Express trip on Jan. 13, he asked the bus driver if he could grab a bag he left in his mother’s car just outside the door. However, when he attempted to reboard the bus, he said Toeppen was dismissive, asking him to get off the bus and telling him to find his own ride to Champaign. But Toeppen said in a statement that Kubler was told that if he got off the bus, which had already started rolling, he’d have to board another bus. 

Toeppen said Kubler refused to board the new bus and his company also provided him with a refund.

Suburban Express also said in the statement it will “look at other ways of communicating and upholding the terms and conditions of (its) ticket-purchase agreement” instead of taking legal action.

The terms and conditions have been revised and condensed in a temporary statement posted on the Suburban Express website, titled, “You Asked For It: New Terms and Conditions.”

New terms and conditions can be found after the jump. Sections of the old terms that were eliminated, include a $100 fine for duplicated, altered or invalid tickets and a $500 fine for disruptive behavior that interferes or delays departure. Changes to terms and conditions are found after the jump.

Corinne can be reached at [email protected].