Insurance Co. Wants out of Car Rental Operator's Legal Woes

A man accused of positioning a camera to capture video of people using the bathroom at his car rental lot is not entitled to legal or financial help from his insurer, attorneys claim and the Indy Star reports.

In a lawsuit filed in Hamilton County Superior Court, the lawyers for Michigan-based Auto-Owners Insurance Co. seek to enforce that point of view with a court ruling.

Robert M. Morris operated a Budget rental car franchise Noblesville, Ind. Through his corporate entity, B-Tolz, he had a contract with Budget Rent A Car Systems. B-Tolz also contracted with Auto-Owners for liability insurance coverage.

The suit was filed Oct. 12 in response to an earlier legal complaint by a former employee of Morris.

According to the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified cash awards as compensatory and punitive damages, Morris set up a video camera in the shop bathroom.

". . . the hidden video camera was positioned so as to capture images of bathroom occupants whilst going about their private business in and around the bathroom toilet," the former employee alleges.

Morris has denied the allegations. He claims the camera was obtained for security purposes and had been stored on a bathroom shelf pending installation. Police found no incriminating images on his computer equipment.

According to the Indy Star, as a co-defendant, Budget Rent A Car Systems triggered the Auto-Owners lawsuit when Budget officials insisted that Budget be deemed an "additional insured" under the liability policy.

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