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A woman is suing Hertz after she was accused of stealing a rental car she paid for and was arrested four times over the incident, a lawsuit says.

Hertz faces dozens of claims in a wrongful arrest lawsuit.Cindy Ord/Getty Images

  • A Hertz customer was arrested after being accused of stealing a rental car, according to a lawsuit.

  • Antwanette Hill is one of hundreds of people suing Hertz for wrongful arrests for “stolen” cars.

  • A father and his daughter were confronted by armed police after the company reported their rental car as stolen.

A Hertz customer was charged with stealing a rental car despite booking and paying for the vehicle in an incident that resulted in her being arrested a total of four times and held in custody for days, a lawsuit said.

Antwanette Hill used her status as a platinum member of the Hertz Gold Club loyalty program to book and pick up a car without checking in with an employee at the Atlanta airport in October 2018, according to the lawsuit filed in July and seen by Insider. She had rented from Hertz at least 20 times before then.

As she got into the car, an employee came up to her and claimed she was stealing it. Hill told him she was a Platinum member and needed to find her reservation, but instead he called the police who then arrested her.

Hill was arrested three more times between 2019 and 2021 for failing to appear in court over the incident, having not been notified of court dates, according to the lawsuit, and spent approximately nine days in jail on each occasion. Her case is still pending; Hertz has declined to dismiss the case.

Hill was pregnant at the time of the fourth arrest in May 2021 and miscarried while in prison. She was in the hospital for three days.

The lawsuit stated that “the loss of her child will haunt her for the rest of her life,” and that she struggled to find work as an optician because of the pending charges.

Hill is one of dozens of people participating in the class action against Hertz who claim they were wrongfully arrested over false theft reports.

The lawsuit states that Hertz has reported cars stolen even if they were legally rented or simply because they could not be located due to poor records: “Hertz knows its tracking and inventory management has been broken, but reports the cars as stolen anyway. “

A lawyer involved in the class action, Francis Alexander Malofiy, said Hertz had not withdrawn the theft claims to avoid damaging its relationship with the police.

A separate lawsuit filed in late September and seen by Insider targeted cars reported as stolen before being given to customers. Malofiy is also involved in that legal action.

In one incident, Nicholas Wright and his 13-year-old daughter were overrun by armed police 30 minutes after collecting an SUV in Savannah, Georgia, when a Hertz officer turned them in for theft.

A Hertz manager arrived at the scene with a replacement car after Wright showed the agents his lease. His daughter is seeking therapy for the incident, the lawsuit said.

“No company in America, no company in the world, uses the police as a taxpayer-funded repo service,” Malofiy told Insider.

Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr acknowledged false arrests by the company in an interview with CNBC in March, reversing years of denials by the company, but said policies had been put in place to prevent them from happening.

Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2020. But Malofiy said the lawsuits showed arrests had continued after the company emerged from that lawsuit in July last year.

“What [Scherr] says it’s not true, and he should be held accountable,” Malofiy said.

A Hertz spokesperson told Insider in an emailed statement: “Hertz cares deeply about our customers and we successfully offer rental cars to tens of millions of travelers every year.

“Where our customers have been negatively impacted, we are committed to doing what is right for our customers. At the same time, we will protect and defend against false claims designed to harm our business.”

If you have had similar issues with Hertz, please get in touch at: rhogg@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider

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