A Galveston County man has sued Hertz, alleging libel and slander.
Michael Gray of League City filed a lawsuit March 27 in Galveston County District court against The Hertz Corporation, alleging he was wrongfully detained and charged with a crime due to identity theft.
According to the complaint, Gray received correspondence from Dollar Rent A Car dated March 31, 2014, stating he had rented a car March 11 and not returned it. Gray contacted Dollar to inform them he had never rented a vehicle from them, the suit says, and learned the company’s rental agreement showed incorrect personal information; and executed an “ID theft affidavit” stating a Dollar vehicle was rented falsely in his name.
The suit says Dollar never issued an arrest warrant because it had contacted the plaintiff before taking any legal action. Subsequently, Dollar merged with Hertz, and Hertz initiated a police report in Shreveport in mid-April, which led to an arrest warrant against Gray on May 20, 2014, the suit says.
The complaint says Gray was mistakenly arrested Oct. 7, 2014, and a law firm hired to defend him and investigate the incident discovered the cause of the charges. The plaintiff appeared at a hearing Oct. 8, 2014, to clarify he was a victim of identity theft, and Gray’s attorney convinced the authorities to recall the arrest warrant, the suit says.
The plaintiff argues Hertz's legal action was troubling. He cites defamation and malicious prosecution, damage to his reputation and credibility, economic damages and mental anguish.
Gray seeks: compensation in excess of $1 million for exemplary damages; pre- and post-judgment interest; attorney fees; expenses and costs. He is represented by attorney Guy Fisher of Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont.
Galveston County District Court case number: 15-CV-0314