Tour bus company stranded students and Ryder Cup fans, Illinois AG says


An Illinois-based tour bus company left a group of deaf students stranded more than four hours, then refused to refund them their money, says a lawsuit from Lisa Madigan, the Illinois Attorney General.

The suit says the company, Sleepless in the City, also provided less-than-stellar service for the Ryder Pro golf tournament. In that case, a $92,000 refund still remains.

The Illinois Service Resource Center contracted the company for 55 hearing impaired students and their families, but the group waited four hours and no bus came. As a result, the center had to hire another bus company for $3,100 while Sleepless in the City has yet to issue a $1,750 refund.

Ryder Cup pro golf tournament organizers in Louisville, Ken. paid Sleepless in the City a down payment of $132,233. The suit alleges bus service provided was only partial on most days and nonexistent on one day. The company refused to issue a requested refund of $92,000.

The lawsuit seeks restitution for violations of the Consumer Fraud Act, a civil penalty of $50,000 for each defendant and an additional $50,000 for each penalty with the intent to defraud.

Sleepless in the City's former owner, Richard Lawrence, told Consumer Ally he had received multiple calls from the governor's office, but had no knowledge of the lawsuit.

"They want more money than they deserve and that's basically why I'm out of business," Lawrence said. "You would think the Governor's office would have something better to do than put me out of business."