Marla J. Diaz wins HOT Lanes case in Virginia

Date: April 9, 2015

Marla J. Diaz represented a client who was sued by Transurban for unpaid tolls, administrative costs, and civil penalties exceeding $2,200.00, arising from the client’s use of the HOT Lanes on Virginia’s I-495 beltway.  Ms. Diaz successfully argued that the Transurban claims were barred by the relevant statute of limitations and all summons against her client were dismissed.  The Washington Post reported:

Toni Cooley, a paralegal who uses the [express] lanes to commute to work in Falls Church, was flagged for not paying tolls in November 2012. Marla Diaz, Cooley’s attorney, said E-ZPass told her client that her transponder was improperly mounted in her car, which caused the automated toll system on the express lanes to fail at registering payment. 

Diaz said Cooley paid the $11.70 in tolls when she learned she owed them …, but by then her account had also accrued $300 in administrative fees. Diaz said. … In December 2013, Trans-urban filed actions against Cooley totaling more than $2,200, including administrative fees and $1,800 in civil penalties for nonpayment, according to court records. …

Diaz moved to have the cases dismissed, saying Transurban had not brought the case within the one-year statute of limitations for criminal procedures. Trans¬urban argued that the case was actually a civil matter and had two years to bring action. 

In an opinion issued Tuesday, Smith sided with Diaz and dismissed the cases.