Several New Jersey horse owners have filed a lawsuit against the highway toll collecting company E-Z Pass and the Delaware River Port Authority, claiming the electronic toll collection system has overcharged them repeatedly to cross the Commodore Barry Bridge, which spans the Delaware River and connects New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
According to the civil suit filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Essex County, people driving a pickup truck and towing a horse trailer are charged $24 per trip--the same as a tractor trailer truck--if they use E-Z Pass. They are charged $10 a trip if they pass through a manned tollbooth.
The group claims that these overcharges occur every time they cross the bridge towing their horse trailers to Pennsylvania race tracks, and they claim this has been going on for years.
Jeffrey R. Pocaro, Esq., of Fanwood, N.J., who specializes in horse racing law and owns racehorses, said the E-Z Pass transponders charge horse trailers correctly on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Turnpikes, so he doesn't understand why the authority can't--or won't--fix the problem on the bridges.
"This is a hardware and software problem [that is misreading the transponders]," He said. "I want this to stop for my clients."
Pocaro is seeking refunds for his class action clients, triple damages under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act for an unconscionable business practice, and an injunction preventing it from happening again in the future.
Ed Kasuba, a spokesperson for the Delaware River Port Authority, which oversees the Commodore Barry Bridge, said the Authority does not comment on pending litigation.
Pocaro intends to ask the Superior Court by motion in December to approve this litigation as a class action lawsuit for all E-Z Pass owners that have been similarly overcharged.
A trial date has not been set.
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