Stay Vacated in Old Class Action Against Hertz

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Supreme Court on Thursday vacated a stay entered in the efforts to settle an 8-year-old class action against car-rental giant Hertz.
     Filed by Janet Sobel and Daniel Dugan in 2006, the class action took issue with Hertz’s practice of quoting rental rates to customers who rent cars at the Reno and Las Vegas airports.
     Since Hertz must pay the airports concession fees for the right to operate there, the car-rental company passes those fees to its customers as a concession-recovery surcharge.
     A federal judge in Nevada agreed that the practice of “unbundling” that surcharge from its base rental rates violated state law, and the court granted a subsequent settlement preliminary approval in November 2010.
     The court denied the settlement final approval in 2011, however, noting that nearly 2.5 million notices were sent to class members, but that only “35,482 Hertz and Advantage customers had registered for the benefits of the settlement – coupons whose value depended on the number of rentals that the customer had purchased.”
     The court found on Sept. 12, 2013, that “class members are entitled to the restitution of any airport concession recovery fees they paid to Hertz during the class period,” covering Oct. 13, 2003, to Sept. 20, 2009.
     In that order, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks partially approved the notice proposed by the plaintiffs and refused to let Hertz file a surreply.
     Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy stayed that order on Wednesday, pending an appeal to the 9th Circuit.
     Upon referral by Kennedy, however, the court denied the stay and vacated his order Thursday.

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