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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Hertz false-arrest claimants file new lawsuit expanding dispute

Dozens of people who have accused Hertz Corp. of falsely arresting them for stealing rental cars filed a new lawsuit Thursday against the company, potentially revealing high court damages.

The new lawsuit, seen by Bloomberg, is based on charges that were bogged down in federal bankruptcy court, where there is no jury and where it may be more difficult to win punitive damages against the corporation.

Rental car customers filed their suit against Hertz in state court in Delaware the same day that a federal judge issued an order allowing several dozen claimants to prove their charges in front of a jury instead of seeking compensation in bankruptcy. Tried to try.

“In the last two years in bankruptcy, our hands were tied behind our backs and our feet were resting on the floor,” said attorney Francis Alexander Malofi, a Philadelphia attorney who has spent years fighting Hertz in court. “Now the gloves are off.”

The company said in an emailed statement that Hertz has appealed to allow certain claims to be resolved outside of bankruptcy. Company executives have offered to settle dozens of claims while it continues to fight others in bankruptcy court.

“We are reviewing and considering each claim brought against Hertz on its individual merits,” the company said. “In furtherance of our stated commitment to resolve situations in which customers have been harmed by our actions, we have begun to offer settlement proposals to dozens of claimants and will continue to do so on a case-by-case basis. “

Until recently, Hertz had successfully kept almost all false arrest charges connected with his Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. The company filed bankruptcy in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the economy and stopped car rentals.

Hertz dropped out of bankruptcy oversight last year, but left behind a shell company to pay off its old, disputed debts, including false arrest claims. More than 230 false arrest claims have been filed against the company, most of which have been filed as bankruptcy claims.

Bankruptcy courts do not have a jury and all disputes are settled by a judge who usually focuses on rehabilitating a financially distressed company. In state courts, the jury can be unpredictable, sometimes with heavy fines imposed on corporations causing harm to the public.

Last month, Hertz offered to settle about three dozen cases that are still in bankruptcy. The company lost a crucial court battle in June when US Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath allowed more than 70 customers to sue for false arrests. The rest of the cases are still before the Walrath.

Hundreds of customers say in court papers that Hertz filed police reports against them and often wrongfully arrested them at gunpoint. A small number of those cases have been blamed on errors by Hertz employees, which led to police pulling over innocent customers suspected of driving stolen cars. Lawyers for clients have said that about 100 more claims are being prepared.

Hertz is a unit of Hertz Global Holdings Inc., which operates the Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty rental brands in regions including Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia.

According to court documents, Hertz files thousands of criminal cases against customers annually. The company says the majority involve disputes about vehicles that weren’t returned in time and possibly stolen, and that it asks customers about overdue cars through phone calls, text messages, emails and certified letters. tries to contact me and takes them back through private channels. Working for approximately 63 days from the date of return before inducting the police.

The company said in a quarterly filing that it does not expect a significant impact.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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