Court Sets Aside Punitive Damages Ruling
TORONTO, March 29, 2007
407 ETR announced today that Justice Sidney Lederman of the Ontario Superior Court has set aside a November 2006 judgment which required 407 ETR to pay punitive damages to a customer in collections.
"We're pleased with the decision," said Antonio de Santiago, President and Chief Executive Officer of 407 ETR. "The punitive damages award was very unusual because it was made at a hearing where our company was not represented. If the company had been represented at that hearing, we feel the outcome would have been very different and this court decision supports that position."
The dispute stems from an account that was sent to collections. Through a series of circumstances, 407 ETR was not made aware that its collections lawsuit had been dismissed or that the customer was countersuing for punitive damages.
In his ruling, Justice Lederman set aside the default judgement and punitive damages award. Noting the customer's own admission of owing 407 ETR certain undisputed amounts, Justice Lederman added that the parties can now move to resolve the dispute.
Now that the punitive damages award has been struck down, 407 ETR said it would seek to resolve the substance of the original collections dispute with the customer. If no resolution can be found, the company said the issue may need to go to court.
"We want to work with customers to resolve their issues quickly and effectively," said Mr. de Santiago. "However, in cases that do go to court, we are left with no option but to defend ourselves."
407 ETR Concession Company Limited ("407 ETR") is the operator and manager of Highway 407, which extends 108 kilometres east-west, just north of Toronto. 407 International Inc., the sole shareholder of 407 ETR, is owned by a consortium comprised of Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, Macquarie Infrastructure Group and SNC-Lavalin.
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For more information, contact:
Dale A. Albers
Manager, Public Relations