Hundreds of Hertz customers are suing for false arrest, saying the rental car agency filed police reports claiming they had stolen vehicles that they had either legitimately rented, or had already returned and paid for. Readers of this site have reported their own horror stories.
Usually it seems that when a rental was extended, or a vehicle exchanged, Hertz failed to correctly log the change. While this explanation isn’t universal, it seemed to cover many of the instances. Even though their CEO admitted this was happening and promised to fix it, it continued to happen.
The rental giant explained they refused to drop charges against those that were falsely arrested because they felt that recanting false police reports would damage their credibility.
Hertz has offered settlements in some cases. But one challenge that’s been faced by many customers, seeking their day in court, is that Hertz has been through bankruptcy. So claims have been heard in bankruptcy court.
However 47 people are now filing lawsuits in state court after being given leave by the bankruptcy court to do so, since Hertz failed to provide properly discharge these claims as part of its bankruptcy proceeding.
Some of the stories from this group are shocking (though admittedly no less shocking than stories we’ve already heard). Cars that had been reported stolen but were still in Hertz’s possession and being rented, handcuffed in front of their kids, and perhaps most shocking – a Hertz platinum member who was arrested four times:
- Bianca DeLoach, who police arrested while she purchased gas, placing her in handcuffs and putting her into a patrol car in front of her 10- and 12-year old children. DeLoach spent nine days away from her children behind bars, despite showing she paid Hertz almost $4,000.
- James Tolen, whose rental car Hertz reported as stolen three months before then renting it to him. At the time of his arrest, Tolen stated, “it was just terrifying. It was bad. Actually, I was really thinking that I wasn’t gonna make it home.”
- Antwanette Hill, a Hertz platinum member, who police falsely arrested four times between 2018 and 2020 after Hertz failed to resolve a false police report the company filed. Hill spent more than 30 days in jail and suffered a miscarriage while imprisoned.
I’ve been tracking the mess that Hertz has made of itself and for customers for years now, and with each new story words fail.