Suburban Express Wants Round 4: Re-Files Lawsuits It Had Previously Dropped
from the keep-digging,-sir dept
Dennis Toeppen is at it again. The owner of Suburban Express, Midwestern bussing company that works the university circuit, is best known for filing ridiculous lawsuits against its own customers and online critics, and for running away whenever any serious media attention is paid to its actions, only to re-file those same suits later. Toeppen himself is also known to be someone who harasses those same online critics personally and also occasionally does his best stalker impression for them.
Toeppen was arrested in Champaign County last month after a former customer complained that Toeppen had posted rude comments regarding him and another customer on Reddit. He appeared in Lake County Court Aug. 8 for his arraignment, pleading not guilty. Shortly after his arrest, Suburban Express re-filed five of its 126 tort or contract damage lawsuits on July 17 in Cook County. These lawsuits were originally filed in Ford County and dismissed by Judge Steve Pacey in July 2013.
Jeremy Leval, the Redditor who got this whole saga started after being sued and harrassed by Toeppen simply for sticking up for a foreign exchange student who a bus driver was mocking, is of course among those Toeppen is re-re-filing against. One begins to get the impression that Toeppen and Suburban Express are masochistic, getting some kind of perverse joy out of getting blasted in the media and online. I’m at a loss as to what other forces could be at work here. Though, judging by some of the other customers’ stories from those being attacked legally by Suburban Express, the simple answer may be that Toeppen is simply a jerk.
A case has also been re-filed against Manfred Kubler, junior in LAS, and his mother, Laurie Casas, for delaying a bus on Jan. 13, 2013. Kubler said he needed to retrieve a backpack, which contained an EpiPen, from his mother’s car after he had boarded his bus. After retrieving the bag, Toeppen asked Kubler to board another bus at the stop after he had sat down. He complied, but after learning that the second bus arrived in Champaign an hour later than the first bus, Kubler was concerned he would not be able to retrieve his luggage, which he said contained his nebulizer and other important medicines, on arrival. He said the first bus began to roll earlier than its planned departure time, but the driver stopped as Kubler walked toward it, inviting him to re-board. Following an altercation between Toeppen, Casas and Kubler after re-boarding, Kubler said Toeppen retrieved his luggage from the first bus’ undercarriage, hitting his mother with the door, and called the police on the two of them.
Delightful. What’s insane about all of this is that the re-re-filings come the day after Toeppen was arrested for harassment, indicating that it will take more than the justice system to slow down his brand of insanity. I imagine being sanctioned out of existence by some anti-SLAPP legislation that has actual teeth might do the job far better, reminding us again what a shame it is that the US doesn’t have such a thing. In the meantime, it might seem reasonable for whichever judge picks up these cases to lay a little lumber to Mr. Toeppen and his clear abuse of the legal system. That and pushing stories about his underhanded behavior up the search engine rankings, as well.