David Purinton Wins Russell Bruno Award

David Purinton won this year's Russell Bruno Award. Photo by Amy Winter.
David Purinton won this year's Russell Bruno Award. Photo by Amy Winter.

David Purinton received this year’s Russell Bruno Award for outstanding service to the auto rental industry.

Purinton is the owner and president of PurCo Fleet Services Inc., a risk management company specializing in car rental loss prevention.

The award was presented at Tuesday’s breakfast general session seminar at the 2015 International Car Rental Show at Bally’s Las Vegas.

"Being chosen to receive the Russell Bruno Award was a complete surprise and a humbling experience," said Purinton. "I’m honored to be counted in the same group as its past winners. I appreciate the opportunity to serve this industry and to help advance its causes. I want to thank my clients for the opportunity to serve them and thank the industry as a whole for allowing me to find a place. I have found my home in this industry."

"Lastly, I would like to thank my loyal employees. They assist me in countless ways and are a significant blessing in my life," added Purinton.

With over 25 years of experience in the car rental industry, Purinton’s experience includes regional management for two national car rental companies, on-site computer software training for the car rental industry and independent risk management consulting.

In 1993, David and his wife Jeanne founded PurCo Fleet Services and today is one of the nation’s largest independent vehicle rental claims management companies that’s devoted to loss prevention. PurCo serves its customers with professional claims resolution, risk management, training and consulting.

PurCo is known for its historical win in the Koenig v. PurCo case in Colorado, an important loss-of-use damages case for the auto rental industry. In 2012, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in favor of PurCo Fleet Services, saying “PurCo is entitled to recover loss-of-use damages irrespective of its actual lost profits.

The case started on Sept. 16, 2005, when Judith Koenig rented a car from the National Car Rental licensee at Colorado’s Durango Airport. While driving the car, she hit a deer and damaged the vehicle.

PurCo, the damage recovery company working with the licensee, demanded payment from Koenig for the damage, as well as loss-of-use damages and a contractual administrative charge. Koenig’s insurer, State Farm, paid for the damage to the car but refused to pay PurCo for loss of use or the administrative fee charge. PurCo then filed suit to collect the unpaid amounts.

“This is a vindication for the rental car industry and property owners everywhere,” said Purinton, at the time of the ruling. “The court said there is an intrinsic loss to the owner when a car is damaged, no matter what else is happening in the fleet with other cars. That is the truth, as any owner can tell you.

Although the case is binding specific to Colorado courts, it had an impact on the recovery of loss-of-use damages nationwide.

“There are not too many people who would be tenacious enough to fight a legal battle for seven years that would benefit the car rental industry,” said Sharon Faulkner, executive director of the American Car Rental Association (ACRA). “But David Purinton is not your average person. His determination to right a wrong is as tall as he is! The ruling he obtained from the Colorado Supreme Court regarding the ability to collect loss-of-use damages was an amazing legislative feat.”

“To say that David Purinton and his company PurCo is a friend to the rental car industry is an understatement. He is a champion, an advocate, a driving force and a skilled negotiator for the industry's concerns, and, as such, he is most definitely deserving of the Russell Bruno Award,” added Faulkner.

The Russell J. Bruno Award has been given at the Car Rental Show since 2004. Recognizing outstanding service to the auto rental industry, past winners include Ken Elder, Jim Shapiro, Sandy Miller, Sharon Faulkner, Michael LaPlaca and Raymond Wagner. Doris Cassan, a Dollar Rent A Car licensee, received the award for 2014.

Story by Amy Winter

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