Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I receive a notice?

    A Court authorized the notice because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement in a class action lawsuit known as In re: Toll Roads Litigation, Case No. 8:16-cv-262-ODW(ADSx) (C.D. Cal.), and about all of your options, before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the Settlement. This website and the Notice explain the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights regarding the Settlement.

    Judge Otis D. Wright II of the United States District Court, Central District of California is overseeing this case. The people who sued are called the “Plaintiffs.” The Orange County Transportation Authority, Darrell Johnson and Lori Donchak (collectively “OCTA”) and Cofiroute USA, LLC (“CUSA”) are collectively called the “Defendants.” The lawsuit alleges that in the course of operating the 91 Express Lanes, the Defendants, in violation of Section 31490 of the California Streets and Highways Code, provided personally identifiable information (as defined in section 31490, “PII”) to certain third parties. The lawsuit seeks statutory damages on behalf of the named Plaintiffs and a proposed class of all individuals in the United States who operated motor vehicles on the 91 Express Lanes and had their PII captured and shared with third parties. The lawsuit also alleges that Defendants’ toll collection practices and imposition of penalties violated the excessive fines and due process clauses of the U.S. and California Constitution, violated the California constitutional right of privacy and the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law, and that they were negligent. There are other defendants, including Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency, San Joaquin Hills Corridor Transportation Agency, Michael Kraman, Craig Young, Scott Schoeffel, Ross Chun, Rhonda Reardon (collectively “TCA”), 3M Company (“3M”) and BRiC-TPS, LLC (“BRiC”), who entered into separate settlement agreements with the Plaintiffs, and are not part of this Settlement.

    There are three separate Settlements in this single lawsuit. In addition to this Settlement, the Plaintiffs settled separately with TCA and BRiC on the one hand and 3M on the other regarding their operation of the 73, 133, 241 and/or 261 Toll Roads in Orange County. Details of the 3M and TCA Settlements can be found here.

    If you received a notice, it's because the records of one or more of the Defendants showed that you may be a member of the OCTA/CUSA Settlement Class. United States District Court Judge Otis D. Wright II ordered OCTA, CUSA and TCA to provide name and contact information (either mailing address or email address) to the Class Administrator so that notice could be sent.

    As explained further on this website, from the Settlement with OCTA and CUSA, your options included the following:

    • Submit a valid Claim Form to receive a cash payment if your toll violation was sent to a third-party debt collector and you do not currently owe any additional penalties.
    • Have a portion of your outstanding toll violation penalties forgiven.
    • Object to the Settlement by November 8, 2021.
    • Request to exclude yourself from the Settlement by November 8, 2021.
    • Do nothing.

    Defendants deny each and every allegation of wrongdoing, liability, and damages that were or could have been asserted in the litigation and further deny that the claims in the litigation would be appropriate for class treatment if the litigation were to proceed through litigation and trial. The Court ruled for Defendants on most of the Plaintiffs’ privacy claims but has not decided who is right on one remaining class privacy claim.

    The Plaintiffs’ Complaint, the Settlement Agreement, and other case-related documents, including copies of the Notice, are posted here. The Settlement resolves the claims against OCTA and CUSA in the lawsuit.

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  2. What is “Personally Identifiable Information” or PII?

    In the context of the Settlement, Personally Identifiable Information (“PII”) means “any information that identifies or describes a person including, but not limited to, travel pattern data, address, telephone number, email address, license plate number, photograph, bank account information, or credit card number,” as provided in Section 31490(o) of the California Streets and Highways Code.

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  3. Which Toll Roads are the subject of the lawsuit?

    Plaintiffs allege that the toll roads upon which motor vehicles owned or driven by Plaintiffs and Class Members were operated include the 91 Express Lanes operated by OCTA and other California toll roads in California operated by other public entities, including the TCA. Click here to see a map of the included toll roads. If you received a Notice, you are likely included in the Settlement because the Defendants’ records have identified you as a person whose PII may have been shared as part of the operation of the 91 Express Lanes.

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  4. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representative(s)” (in this case, Plaintiff Dan Golka) sue on behalf of themselves and other people with similar claims. Together, all the people with similar claims (except those who exclude themselves) are members of a “Settlement Class.”

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  5. Why is there a settlement?

    The Court has ruled in favor of the Defendants on a number of the privacy claims raised in the lawsuit, but has not decided wholly in favor of either the Plaintiffs or Defendants. Instead, Plaintiff Dan Golka and Defendants have agreed to the Settlement. By agreeing to the Settlement, the Parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and if the Settlement is approved by the Court, Settlement Class Members will receive the benefits described in this Notice. The proposed Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that the Defendants did anything wrong. The Defendants deny all liability and legal claims against them in this case. Plaintiff Dan Golka and the lawyers representing the Class think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.

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  6. Who is included in the Settlement?

    If you received a Notice by email or mail, you are likely a Settlement Class Member. However, anyone who meets the description below could still be a Settlement Class Member.

    The following individuals whose PII was provided by OCTA or CUSA to an individual or entity described below between June 29, 2015 and May 27, 2021 are included in the Settlement:

    1. Any person with a transponder account with a California toll road operator other than OCTA whose PII including the date, time and location of a toll transaction on the 91 Express Lanes was sent by Defendants to another California toll road operator between June 29, 2015 and May 27, 2021 for purposes of collecting a toll incurred on the 91 Express Lanes (the “Interoperability Subclass”); and
    2. Any person whose PII was sent by Defendants between June 29, 2015 and May 27, 2021 to: (a) the California Department of Motor Vehicles or out-ofstate equivalent in connection with more than one alleged toll violation incurred on the 91 Express Lanes (the “DMV Subclass”); (b) a car rental company in connection with an alleged toll violation incurred on the 91 Express Lanes (the “Car Rental Subclass”); and/or (c) a third-party debt collector for collection of unpaid tolls and/or toll violation penalties incurred on the 91 Express Lanes (the “Debt Collection Subclass”).

    The following individuals are excluded from the Settlement Class: current members of the OCTA Board of Directors, OCTA’s Chief Executive Officer, the General Manager of the 91 Express Lanes, OCTA’s 91 Express Lanes Project Manager III, and the attorneys representing OCTA and Cofiroute in this Litigation.

    The Settlement Agreement does not include any of the following claims:

    • The claims expressly asserted in the January 6, 2020 First Amended Complaint on file in the case entitled Mathew Skogebo et al., vs. Cofiroute USA, LLC, et al., Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2019-01118474;
    • The claims expressly asserted in the January 13, 2020 Second Amended Complaint on file in the case entitled Harvey J. Thompson, et al., vs. Cofiroute USA, LLC, et al., Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2019-01108804; and
    • The claims expressly asserted in the January 3, 2020 Corrected First Amended Complaint on file in the case entitled Sanket Vinod Thakur, et al., vs. Cofiroute USA, LLC, et al., United States District Court, Central District of California, Case No. 8:19-CV-02233 ODW (JDEx).

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  7. What does the Settlement provide?

    The benefits provided by the Settlement are as follows: OCTA will pay $1 million to create a “Settlement Fund.” The Settlement Fund will be used to pay all Settlement costs, including notice and administration costs, the Special Master’s fees and costs, any attorneys’ fees awarded to the attorneys representing the Settlement Class, and any approved service award to the Class Representative. The remainder (the “Net Settlement Funds”) will be distributed as cash payments to eligible Settlement Class Members who had a toll violation sent to a third-party debt collector and who submitted valid claims and who are not eligible for the penalty forgiveness described below. The cash payments will be distributed on a pro rata basis to valid claimants depending on the number of valid claims submitted, up to a maximum of $15.00 per person. Any amount remaining will be donated to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a Southern California nonprofit privacy rights advocacy organization.

    OCTA will also provide $40 million in toll violation penalty forgiveness. This will be allocated as follows: Every toll violation penalty assigned to a third-party debt collector for collection as of May 27, 2021 will be reduced to $100.00. In addition, each toll violator who owed OCTA a debt for one or more toll violation penalties assigned to a third-party debt collection as of May 27, 2021 will have the amount of that debt reduced by approximately $40.00. You did not have to submit a claim to obtain this reduction. If you did not submit a request to be excluded from the Settlement Class, and you have a qualifying toll violation debt, you will automatically receive this benefit.

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  8. How could I have submitted a claim?

    To receive a cash payment (i.e., you had a toll violation sent to a third-party debt collector and are not eligible for penalty forgiveness), you needed to complete and submit a valid Claim Form. The deadline to submit a claim online was 11:59 p.m. PT on November 8, 2021.

    You also could have submitted your Claim Form via regular mail. Claim Forms submitted by mail must have been postmarked on or before November 8, 2021 to:

    91 Express Lanes Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 3639
    Portland, OR 97208-3639

    No matter which method you chose to submit your Claim Form, you needed to read the Claim Form carefully and provide all the information required, including the Unique ID provided to you on the Notice you were sent by email or mail (if you received a Notice). Only one Claim Form per Settlement Class Member could have been submitted.

    If you have lost your Notice, or did not receive notice and believe you are part of the Settlement Class, please contact the Class Administrator at 1-888-490-0922 (Toll-Free).

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  9. When will I receive my payment?

    Payments to eligible Class Members who submitted valid claims and reductions in outstanding toll violation penalties will be made only after the Court grants final approval to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved (see FAQ 18). If there are appeals, resolving them can take time. Please be patient.

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  10. How could I have gotten out of the Settlement?

    If you did not want benefits from the Settlement, and you wanted to keep any rights you might have to sue the settling Defendants about the issues in this case, then you must have taken steps to get out of the Settlement. This is called excluding yourself or “opting out” of the Settlement Class.

    To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you needed to send a letter or other written document by mail to:

    91 Express Lanes Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 3639
    Portland, OR 97208-3639

    Your request to be excluded from the Settlement must have been personally signed by you and must have contained a statement that indicated your desire to be excluded from the Settlement Class. A request to be excluded will not affect your eligibility to participate in any settlement regarding any toll roads other than the 91 Express Lanes.

    Your exclusion request must have been postmarked no later than November 8, 2021. You could not have asked to be excluded on the phone, by email, or on this website.

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  11. If I did not exclude myself, can I sue the Defendants for the same thing later?

    No. Unless you excluded yourself, you gave up any right you might have had to sue the Defendants for legal claims that the Settlement resolves.

    If you start your own lawsuit, you will have to hire your own lawyer, and you will have to prove your claims.

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  12. What did I give up if I remained in the Settlement Class?

    If you stayed in the Settlement Class and did not exclude yourself, you could not sue or be part of any other lawsuit or other proceeding against the Defendants about the issues settled in this case, except even if you didn’t exclude yourself you can still pursue informal or formal administrative procedures to contest a prior toll evasion violation that has not been resolved. If you stayed in the Settlement Class, all of the decisions and judgments by the Court related to the Settlement will bind you. If you submitted a Claim Form or did nothing at all, you will be releasing Defendants from all of the claims described and identified in Section 15 of the Settlement Agreement. Whether you excluded yourself or stayed in the Settlement Class, you cannot bring a new claim based on the fact that one or more of the Defendants provided your name and contact information to the Class Administrator so notice of the Settlement could be sent to you.

    The Settlement Agreement is available here. The Settlement Agreement provides more detail regarding the releases and describes the released claims, so read them carefully. You can talk to the law firms representing the Class listed in FAQ 14 for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the released claims or what they mean.

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  13. If I excluded myself, can I still get a payment?

    No. You will not get a payment from the Settlement Fund if you excluded yourself from the Settlement. If you owe toll violation penalties assigned to a debt collector, those penalties will not be reduced if you excluded yourself.

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  14. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

    The Court has appointed the following lawyers as “Class Counsel” to represent all members of the Settlement Class.

    Helen Zeldes
    Schonbrun Seplow Harris Hoffman & Zeldes, LLP
    501 W. Broadway
    Suite 800
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Blake J. Lindemann
    433 North Camden Drive
    4th Floor
    Beverly Hills, CA 90201
    Michael Flannery
    Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP
    500 North Broadway
    Suite 1450
    St. Louis, MO 63102

    You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in court for you at your own expense.

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  15. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel intend to request up to $250,000 for attorneys’ fees, plus reimbursement of reasonable, actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the litigation. Any fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid out of the cash Settlement Fund. The Court will decide the amount of fees and expenses to award, if any.

    Class Counsel will also request a Service Award of up to $5,000 for Plaintiff Daniel Golka, to be paid from the Settlement Fund, for his service as representative on behalf of the whole Settlement Class.

    The motion by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees, costs and Service Awards is posted on this website.

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  16. How could I have told the Court I did not like the Settlement?

    If you are a Settlement Class Member (and did not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class), you could have objected to any part of the Settlement. You could have objected even if you also submitted a claim for benefits under the Settlement. To object, you must have filed a letter or other written document with the Court that included the following:

    1. A heading that includes the case name and case number: In re: Toll Roads Litigation, Case No. 8:16-cv-262-ODW (ADSx) (C.D. Cal.);
    2. Your name, address, telephone number, and if represented by counsel, the name, bar number, address, and telephone number of your counsel;
    3. A signed declaration stating, under penalty of perjury, that you are a member of the Settlement Class;
    4. A statement of all your objections to the Settlement you are objecting to, including your legal and factual basis for each objection; and
    5. A statement of whether you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing, either with or without counsel, and if with counsel, the name, bar number, address, and telephone number of your counsel who will attend.

    You must have filed your objection with the Court (using the Court’s electronic filing system or in any manner in which the Court accepts filings) and mailed your objection to each of the following eight (8) addresses, and your objection must have been postmarked by November 8, 2021:

    Clerk of the Court   Class Administrator
    Clerk of the Court
    United States District Courthouse
    Central District of California
    350 W. 1st Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
    91 Express Lanes Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 3639
    Portland, OR 97208-3639
    OCTA Counsel CUSA Co-Counsel CUSA Co-Counsel
    M. Lois Bobak
    Woodruff, Spradlin & Smart
    555 Anton Boulevard
    Suite 1200
    Costa Mesa, CA 92626-7670
    Ken E. Steelman
    General Counsel
    Cofiroute USA, LLC
    200 Spectrum Center Drive
    Suite 1650
    Irvine, CA 92618
    David F. Brown
    Corbett, Steelman & Specter
    27281 Las Ramblas
    Suite 200
    Mission Viejo, CA 92691- 8303
    Class Counsel
    Helen Zeldes
    Schonbrun Seplow Harris Hoffman &
    Zeldes, LLP
    501 W. Broadway
    Suite 800
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Blake J. Lindemann
    433 North Camden Drive
    4th Floor
    Beverly Hills, CA 90201
    Michael Flannery
    Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP
    500 North Broadway
    Suite 1450
    St. Louis, MO 63102

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  17. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you want to be part of the Settlement Class but you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to a Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself from it. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because you will not be part of the settling class.

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  18. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Special Master has scheduled a Fairness Hearing on approval of the Settlement on January 4, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. PT, via Zoom. You may request the Zoom link and telephone number for the hearing by calling 1-888-490-0922 or by registering here. At this hearing, the Special Master will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Special Master will also consider the requests by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses and for a service award to the Class Representative. If there are objections, the Special Master will consider them at that time. After the hearing, the Special Master will decide whether to recommend approval of the Settlement to the Court. The Special Master’s report and recommendation will be filed with the Court and posted to this website. Judge Wright will decide whether to accept it or not and enter an order accordingly. It is unknown how long these decisions will take.

    The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check this website for updates.

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  19. Do I have to attend the hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Special Master may have, but you are welcome to attend the Fairness Hearing. If you filed an objection, you do not have to attend the Fairness Hearing to talk about it, but you are free to do so. As long as you filed your written objection on time, and mailed it to the proper addresses, and complied with the other requirements set forth in FAQ 16, the Special Master will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend the Fairness Hearing, but it is not necessary.

    Please register here to receive details to remotely access the Fairness Hearing.

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  20. May I speak at the hearing?

    It is in the discretion of the Special Master whether to allow oral arguments at the Fairness Hearing. To speak at the Fairness Hearing, you must have included a statement in your objection that you intended to appear at the Fairness Hearing (see FAQ 16) and wanted to speak. You cannot speak at the hearing if you excluded yourself from the Settlement.

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  21. What happens if I did nothing at all?

    If you are a member of the Settlement Class and did nothing, you will be bound by the judgment entered by the Court on the Settlement, including the release in the Settlement Agreement. This means you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with this lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit or proceeding against the Defendants about the claims settled and released in this case, except even if you did nothing you can still pursue informal or formal administrative procedures to contest a prior toll evasion violation that has not been resolved. If you are a member of the Settlement Class and owe toll violation penalties assigned to a debt collector for collection you will receive the reduction in your penalties (see FAQ 7) even if you did nothing in response to the notice.

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  22. How do I get more information?

    This website summarizes the proposed Settlement. For more details, you may review a copy of the Long Form Notice, Settlement Agreement, and other documents associated with the Settlement on the Important Documents page of this website. You may also write with questions to the Class Administrator at 91 Express Lanes Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 3639, Portland, OR 97208-3639, or call the toll-free number, 1-888-490-0922.

    To register for notifications regarding the Settlement, click here.

    PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT OR OCTA FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THE SETTLEMENT.

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