Hertz Sues Research Firm for Defamation

Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. has filed a lawsuit alleging that a company defamed Hertz in a report that named Hertz among 20 large companies “most likely to declare bankruptcy” within a year, according to Reuters.

The lawsuit, filed Sept. 25 in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County, Hertz sued Audit Integrity, an accounting and governance risk analysis company, and its Chief Executive Officer Jack Zwingli for defamation and trade libel over the Sept. 15 report. In its complaint, Hertz said the defendants had “no factual basis” for saying its financial statements were fraudulent.

Hertz’s chief executive Mark Frissora said in a statement on Sept. 28 that the lawsuit was an appropriate response to the publication of “false and harmful information” about Hertz. “Not only are the conclusions about our financial health baseless, but questioning the integrity of our financial reporting is indefensible,” he added.

Hertz said the defendants had “no factual basis” for saying its financial statements were fraudulent. Hertz added that if Audit Integrity had they used generally recognized methods to detect fraud, they would have concluded otherwise, or that they lacked sufficient information to say there was fraud.

In response to the lawsuit, Zwingli said in a statement, “We are disappointed that Hertz has taken this action in an attempt to stifle an opinion they do not agree with. We firmly stand behind our methodology and findings, and will vigorously defend ourselves against this unwarranted litigation.”

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