Hertz, the largest rental car company in the world, has filed suit against Audit Integrity Inc. and its CEO Jack Zwingli for defamation after Audit named Hertz as one of 20 companies most likely to go bankrupt by the end of year. A huffy Hertz alleges that the report, published on September 15th, groundlessly accuses the rental conglomerate of fraudulent financial practices and intentionally inaccurate reporting, which unfairly damages the Hertz image. Apparently unimpressed with the grandstanding, Zwingli has displayed none of the plaintiff’s outrage and diplomatically challenged Hertz to bring it on, in more or less words.
In addition to an official retraction, the Hertz lawsuit also seeks monetary punitive damages of an undisclosed amount, which Hertz presumably deems necessary to counteract the potentially negative impact the report may have had on shareholders. Privately, many independent sources feel Hertz has little to no chance of securing a victory in the courtroom and strongly suspect the suit is simply a red herring intended to detract from the inherent truth in Audit’s findings. We’ll be interested to see whether Audit’s predictions ring true.