Wondering How Suburban Express Is Doing In Lawsuit Brought By Illinois Attorney General? Really Fucking Bad!

from the like-super,-super-bad dept

Back in May, we wrote about Suburban Express, the comically awful bussing company that works the University of Illinois-Champaign to Chicago circuit and is owned by Dennis Toeppen, being sued by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Why it was sued by the state will require you going through the backlinks above, but can more succinctly be expressed in the following math equation:

(legal threats against a redditor for negative reviews) x 2 +(doxxing complaining customers) + (lawsuits filed against customers for complaining) - (rescinding those lawsuits) + (refiling those same lawsuits again) + (Toeppen being arrested for harassing his critics) + (filing more lawsuits) x (sending out a racist email advertisement promising that you won't see Chinese people on its busses) = well, hello there, federal court

Okay, fine, so the equation wasn't all that succinct. Still, the answer to why Madigan sued is essentially because Surburban Express likely violated all kinds of laws in doing the above. Madigan's suit alleged a dizzying array of violations of civil rights and consumer protection laws, as well as Illinois law on civil rights. Toeppen stands accused of harassment of customers for leaving the company negative reviews, arbitrary refusal of service based on not liking customers for a variety of reasons including racial reasons, and having internal and external communications, such as the advertisement that ridicules Asians and Jews, because every bigot entree basically just comes with a Jewish piece of parsley. In all, Madigan included 182 pages of exhibits backing up her accusations.

So, how's it going?

Well, pretty fucking bad for Toeppen and Suburban Express, it turns out. Ken White lays out a summary of what's occurred with the suit thus far.

It's not looking promising for Toeppen or Suburban Express in court. They agreed to a Temporary Restraining Order barring them from publishing the personal identifying information of customers, required them to take down the personal identifying information they already published, revise their lawsuits to redact gratuitously filed personal identifying information, and stop retaliating against customers for online reviews. Toeppen and Suburban Express agreed to have that order extended a few times, and now the AG wants to make it into a more long-term injunction. Meanwhile the attorney for Suburban Express and Toeppen wants to quit, citing strategic disputes and non-payment. Toeppen is falling back on the game-winning strategy of semi-coherent attacks on the media.

That last bit takes the form of a bizarre attack on The News Gazette. After reporting on the case, the News Gazette received a brief and vague bit of pushback directly from Toeppen as to its reporting about Toeppen's lawyer looking to exit the case. As per usual with Toeppen, the interaction was long on bombast and short on anything worthwhile.

After this article was published, Toeppen emailed The News-Gazette to criticize its reporting.

"Don't try to report on things you do not understand and are unwilling to research," he wrote. "Your reporting on this matter has been idiotic in the extreme."

A News-Gazette email asking for clarification bounced back with an error saying the sender's email address had been rejected.

"You're wrong, but I won't explain how, and I'll block your email address right after I send this!" is about as useless an interaction as I can think of. None of that changes the News Gazette's reporting about Toeppen's attorney seeking to no longer represent Suburban Express over both strategic issues and a lack of payment from Toeppen, not to mention that Suburban Express' insurance company is asking the court to declare that it doesn't have to pay for the lawsuit, essentially because the policy doesn't cover Toeppen being an asshole.

The Hartford has denied coverage, Long said, and Manufacturers Alliance Insurance Company denied coverage and filed a lawsuit against Toeppen and Allerton Charter Coach, which operates as a contractor for Suburban Express.

It's seeking a decision from the court on whether it correctly denied coverage, arguing that policies Allerton and Toeppen have exclude coverage when the damages result from intentional misconduct, as Madigan's lawsuit alleges.

Now, look, I know it might seem like I'm actively rooting against Toeppen and Suburban Express and for Madigan to at the very least make an example of them, but it only looks that way because it's absolutely true and I have no interest in pretending otherwise. The level of harassment and vitriol Toeppen has displayed, all because people don't want him to run his business as though this was Montgomery circa 1955.

Filed Under: critics, dennis toeppen, harassment, illinois, lisa madigan, reviews, threats
Companies: suburban express


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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 22 Jul 2018 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    They got a few chuckles out of me, so yeah, I'd say they were.

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