calls it "the country's most expensive parking ticket."The National Post
Toronto doctor Anna Marie Arenson, a radiologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, lost her battle over a $31 parking fine — and now owes the city $70,537.
Dr. Arenson parked her Mercedes on Bayview Ave. during a blizzard in November 2007. She claims she put $3 into the meter, but the machine failed to print the receipt she needed to place on her car's dashboard.
She tried another machine. It also failed.
"You couldn't turn anything, you couldn't put a card in," Dr. Arenson told the Toronto Star in 2008. "It was pretty obvious that the meters weren't working."
When Dr. Arenson returned from dinner that night, a $31.50 parking ticket was sitting on her windshield.
[ More Daily Brew: Are Canada's public pools toxic hazards? ]
Her lawyer, Arenson's ex-husband Ken Arenson, said that the failure of these machines suggested an inherent defect in the meters during inclement weather.
In 2009, Mr. Arenson announced that he expected to win a $26 million class-action lawsuit against the city, a figure that "stems from an approximation as to how many similar tickets could have been issued due to frozen meters and other failures since the city installed them in 1998," Post City reported.
"We never went into this thing for the money," Mr. Arenson told the National Post, noting Dr. Arenson's loss was only a few dollars put into two parking meters and $31 for the fine, which was paid.
"This is about small wrongs multiplied over a great number of people. We still think the city is taking money out of the parkers' pockets and we want to investigate this in a transparent manner. We are open to making some kind of settlement if it leads to an impartial investigation that is publicly available."
He added that he hoped the class-action lawsuit would result in getting access to the parking machines for expert study.
[ Daily Buzz: Wisconsin teen is America's fastest texter — again ]
An Ontario judge dismissed Dr. Arenson's bid for a lawsuit to be certified as class action. As arguments had already reached the Supreme Court of Canada, Dr. Arenson was ordered to cover the municipality's legal costs from defending against her case — an impressive $70,537.
"I do not doubt that Dr. Arenson's proposed class action interested the public and I appreciate that it attracted some media attention. However, that a case is interesting to the public does not mean that it is public interest litigation," said Justice Paul Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in his ruling.
Mr. Arenson and his client plan to appeal both the certification dismissal and the cost rulings.