On January 11, 2019, Andrus Anderson LLP filed a lawsuit against the Hertz Corporation (parent company of Dollar and Thrifty) and Viking Billing Service (the “Defendants”) on behalf of Ronald DeNicolo and a national class of similarly situated individuals. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, alleges that Hertz and Viking regularly and unlawfully charge individuals for damage to rental vehicles which the renter was not responsible for, and that they do so months after the alleged damage occurred.
Specifically, in Mr. DeNicolo’s experience, he rented a car from Hertz’s Thrifty rental facility at San Francisco International Airport and returned the car undamaged on the following day. Nearly three months later, Mr. DeNicolo learned for the first time of Hertz’s claimed that he had damaged the vehicle when he received a combined invoice and debt collection notice from Viking.
By waiting several months to initiate collection on the alleged damage, and by improperly conflating the initial invoice with a debt collection notice, Defendants prevented Mr. DeNicolo from timely contesting the claims, deprived him of the opportunity to investigate the claimed damage and seek coverage under his own insurance if necessary, and vastly increased the likelihood of mistake and fraud.
Further, as alleged in the complaint, Mr. DeNicolo is not alone. Quoting newspaper articles and complaints submitted to the Better Business Bureau, the complaint demonstrates that Defendants’ activities are widespread and continue to injure consumers.