Hertz's Silly Suit
The car rental giant filed a lawsuit Monday against accounting research firm Audit Integrity, alleging it was defamed in a report which named Hertz as one of 20 major companies that could potentially go bankrupt. According to Audit Integrity's calculations, which include metrics such as liquidity, leverage and profitability, Hertz has a 3.99% chance of going belly-up.
"Not only are the conclusions about our financial health baseless, but questioning the integrity of our financial reporting is indefensible," Hertz Chairman and CEO Mark P. Frissora said in a statement. Hertz is seeking an undetermined amount in general and punitive damages, a retraction and apology from the company and attorneys' fees and costs.
Aw, come on Mark, look on the bright side. There's a 96.01% probability that you won't go bankrupt. That's gotta count for something, right?
Well, maybe not.Audit Integrity CEO Jack Zwingli responded to the suit by accusing Hertz of trying to suppress his freedom of speech. Zwingli, who is directly named in the suit, said he stands "firmly behind our methodology and findings, and will vigorously defend ourselves against this unwarranted litigation."
Our feeling is that if Hertz simply ignored the negative report, then we probably never would have heard about it in the first place. The two firms topping the so-called bankruptcy list, Rite Aid
Instead of making a racket, Hertz should have left its pride at the checkout counter and taken the high road.