Suburban Express Agrees To Changes In Conduct Toward Customers, As Part Of Talks To Settle Suit
The bus company Suburban Express has reached an agreement with the Illinois Attorney General on a temporary restraining order, while the two sides negotiate to settle a lawsuit.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed the suit Monday, alleging years of discriminatory practices.
Madigan says the company’s owner Dennis Toeppen relentlessly harassed customers -- mostly college students -- and posted personal financial information of those who negatively reviewed his company.
The restraining order states that Suburban Express will not retaliate against any customers for negative reviews for the next 28 days, as negotiations continue.
Also, the company has 24 hours to remove any postings of customers’ personal information, and 21 days to notify those whose information was made public.
The next hearing on the suit is set for May 23rd.
Suburban Express operates shuttles from the University of Illinois Urbana campus to the Chicago suburbs and O’Hare airport.
Madigan’s civil rights bureau had been investigating the company for possible violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act after an email was sent to customers in December saying they would find “passengers like you. You won’t feel like you’re in China when you’re on our buses.”
“This is not a one-off," Madigan said at a press conference earlier this week. "This is a serious history - years long - of continued, repeated violations of our civil rights laws and our consumer protection laws.”
A statement on the company’s Facebook page calls the state attorney general’s lawsuit an “unfounded assault on our reputation” that it will fight “vigorously."
The company specifically denies the charge that it posted personal financial information of those who posted negative reviews online, and said it was those reviewers who were harassing Suburban Express, not the other way around.
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