FAIRFIELD, CALIF. (CN) – A class action accuses U-Haul of enforcing illegal non-compete contracts on independent dealers whom it cheats by failing to provide trucks, providing inoperable or unsafe trucks, and from whom it poaches customers by directing them away from independent franchises to company-owned outlets.
Plaintiff Leigh Robinson claims U-Haul’s non-compete contracts are illegal and unenforceable, as U-Haul has no “trade secrets” to protect. Robinson claims U-Haul diverts trade away from its 13,950 independent agents toward the 1,450 company-owned and -operated outlets. He claims U-Haul has been enjoined in Santa Cruz County “from using the words ‘guaranteed’ or ‘confirmed’ in connection with any rental reservation with any of its trucks because of U-Haul’s abysmal failure to actually have trucks on site at independent rental agencies (such as the self-storage business plaintiff operated) on the date and at the time ‘guaranteed’ and ‘confirmed’ by U-Haul. Moreover, even when a truck is physically present at an independent rental agent’s site when and where reserved, the trucks are often inoperable and/or unsafe to operate.”
Robinson says U-Haul is illegally trying to prevent him from re-opening his truck rental outlet with Budget, because it falsely asserts it has trade secrets. Robinson says there are no such trace secrets. He demands an injunction, costs, and damages for malicious prosecution and business code violations. He is represented in Solano County Court by Matthew Freeman of Santa Rosa.