Avis to pay Alaska Rent A Car $16 million

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Car Rental News - 28/01/2010


Veteran franchise founder overjoyed with court decision

US Judge Timothy Burgess issued an order that will make Avis Budget Car Rental liable to pay $16 million in damages to Alaska Rent A Car.

During the hearing of the court verdict, Robert Halcro, a 54-year old veteran franchisee who founded the Alaskan car rental company in 1955, said that he felt overjoyed with the result which he had been waiting for seven years.

Alaska Rent A Car’s legal battle started in 2002 when Cendant Corporation, the previous parent company of Avis, obtained and continued to operate rival firm Budget Rent A Car. Halcro alleged that Cendant’s purchase breached all three of his franchise contracts.

The judge resolved the case in favour of the Alaskan franchisor. Judge Burgess stated that Cendant clearly violated the agency agreement. He also ruled that Halcro’s car rental company is entitled for payment to the damages it had incurred due to Cendant’s violation of the agreement.

Following the verdict, Halcro’s lawyer, Jeffrey Feldman, stated that their calculations on the incurred damages had been accepted by Judge Burgess, while the jury rejected Cendant’s testimony.

John Dienelt, representing Cendant and Avis, however asserted in the trial that Feldman’s calculations were unreliable because they were based on incorrect assumptions. But Judge Burgess disagreed with Dienelt’s claims, saying that the court has enough evidence to support the verdict.

Regarding Avis’ appeal for a new trial, Judge Burgess stated that there is no basis to change the court’s earlier decision. Dienelt however said that Avis will file an appeal within 30 days.

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