A Chicago woman has filed a class action lawsuit against car rental company Hertz, accusing the company of wrongly adding on a 10 percent recovery charge, meant to cover “concession fees” typically charged by airports, hotels and other sites from which Hertz or its other brands may rent cars, even when the rental location isn’t required to pay such a fee.
On March 6, Kathryne Anne Kurth, of Chicago, filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court against The Hertz Corporation, alleging she was repeatedly overcharged for car rentals in late 2017 and early 2018. She is represented by attorneys Clinton A. Krislov, Kenneth T. Goldstein and Christopher M. Hack, of the firm of Krislov & Associates, of Chicago.
According to the complaint, Kurth rented cars from Hertz on four occasions from Dec. 8, 2017, to Feb. 21, 2018, culminating in a two-week rental, with a total bill of $245. Kurth claims on those occasions she was made to pay an additional 10 percent charge on her rentals, as a “concession/commission fee.”
According to her lawsuit, Hertz describes the “concession fee recovery charge” as a “fee to reimburse Hertz for concession/commission fees paid” to an airport, hotel, train station or other agent, for the rentals.
In all, Kurth said the fees added a total of $40.55 to her car rental costs.
However, the complaint notes Kurth rented the cars at Hertz’s location at 401 N. State St., in Chicago, “16 miles from O’Hare International Airport and 13 miles from Chicago Midway International Airport.”
“Defendant’s State Street location is not at an airport or other such facility where Defendant (Hertz) would incur a concession fee,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit asserts Hertz’s fees violate the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and the consumer fraud laws in all other states, while also constituting unjust enrichment.
Kurth’s attorneys asked the court to expand the action to include an additional class of plaintiffs, which could include everyone who rented cars from a store operating under the Hertz, Dollar or Thrifty brands, and “paid a ‘concession fee recovery charge’ … where The Hertz Corporation incurs no concession fee.”
The complaint does not estimate how large the class of additional plaintiffs may be.
The complaint asks the court to order Hertz to “identify victims of its unlawful conduct,” and pay unspecified compensatory, statutory and punitive damages.
The case is docketed as Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2018-CH-02994.