520 tolling error takes its toll on innocent driver

SEATTLE-- He never crossed the bridge. He didn't own the car. He had iron-clad proof it was all a mistake.

Yet the Washington Department of Transportation failed for weeks fix a simple problem that cost Brock Genereux time, money and stress.

"We leased the vehicle, we turned it in. Somebody crossed the bridge after we returned the vehicle to Toyota," Genereux said. "We thought it could easily be disputed. We provided the proof, we got the dispute resolution back from Good-To-Go saying this is done, don't worry about it."

Several months later Genereux received a notice of violation, asking for the original $3.90 toll he was first accused of not paying, and an additional $40 penalty.

"It's frustrating. It really is," he said.

After learning how much time and stress this snafu was costing Genereux, the KOMO 4 Problem Solvers stepped in to investigate.

We asked the DOT to research the case to find out why Genereux received a violation notice after the agency assured him he was not responsible for the toll.

"It was a pretty simple human error and we are investigating how it all happened," acknowledged DOT Toll Operations Manager Lucinda Broussard.

She said a DOT employee mistakenly entered into the computer system that Genereux was the owner of the vehicle.

She offered an apology to Genereux.

"I know it takes a lot of time and effort when you're calling someone back to back trying tp figure exactly what's going on," Broussard said. "But I'd also like thank him because he did alert us that there was a problem."

The DOT will make sure the error is corrected and the case closed.

Broussard added that this is an unusual problem, and believes her department has a good record of fixing mistakes considering it receives 46-thousand toll-related phone calls every month.

Genereux was delighted when The Problem Solvers told him the case was now resolved.

"I can't believe it," he said. "I just can't believe we had to go through all this. Thank you. I can't thank you enough. The stress is gone, so yeah, I'm happy."