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  • Frivolous lawsuit dropped!

    I received some excellent news on my ccmail on Friday. The ridiculous civil suit against me has been dropped!

    A little background - about a year ago Thrifty Rent-A-Car, after losing their original tort claim against the Government, filed a civil suit naming myself and two other agents as defendants. They sued us personally because damages that we caused while removing marijuana bundles that were concealed in a rented minivan. To top it off they sued for loss of rental (I guess we should have let the dope pass through so the renter could return it on time) and a huge amount of punitive damages.

    It is one of the most ridiculous lawsuits that I have ever heard of, and I think it shows that Thrifty rent-a-car has terrible ethical standards and an extremely low opinion of law enforcement.

    I haven't been on this forum much lately, but I figured that since I posted about it a year or so ago when it happened I ought to post the outcome. The government actually fought this lawsuit pretty vigorously- a loss would have created some really bad case law.

    My opinion about thrifty remains unchanged however. Their actions showed that they are anti-law enforcement, and I hope that everybody gives that fact consideration before renting a car from those a*holes.

    Now I can finally give Thrifty a piece of my mind now that the lawsuit is dropped

  • #2


    Not that I ever rent cars from them - but they are now on my boycott list, and will be happy to spread the word!
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    sigpic

    Comment


    • #3

      Even though some customer misused Thrifty's rental vehicle to haul dope, people from your agency should have done their best to "fix" it back to its original condition. (But them going after you for "loss of rental" is a little bit over the top.)

      I am not saying your people did not make an effort, but I could understand them being ticked off if you gave it back to them in a damaged condition. Think of how you would feel if you rented or loaned your car to a friend and the police tore it apart to find something and then gave it back to you all messed up. I am certain you would not be happy about it.

      As for Thrifty being anti-cop, that might or might not be true. Nice to know you prevailed in the lawsuit, however, and maybe Thrifty may be more careful about those with whom they choose to do business.




      The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

      The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

      ------------------------------------------------

      "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

      Comment


      • #4
        Congrats on beating the obviously frivolous lawsuit.

        Thrifty makes money from renting cars to people. They should've chalked it up to the cost of doing business. The people they should be suing are obviously the drug traffickers (i.e. bad guys) as opposed to the police (i.e. good guys).

        Many car rental agencies have clauses in the rental agreement in regards to illegal activity. Obviously Thrifty dropped the ball there.

        As for the loaning analogy - it fails. Loaning a car to a friend is quite a bit different than renting vehicles to paying customers.

        The difference is you are loaning a car to a friend and have a right to be ****ed. Thrifty's sole source of income is renting out those vehicles, and should've taken more steps to protect themselves from illegal activity in the first place.

        Thrifty is now on my boycott list too.
        Last edited by Soon2Be; 05-29-2006, 01:42 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thrifty makes money from renting cars to people. They should've chalked it up to the cost of doing business. The people they should be suing are obviously the drug traffickers (i.e. bad guys) as opposed to the police (i.e. good guys).

          But they probably know the bad dudes don't have money - or at least money that Thrifty can go after for damages. It is easier for them to pursue an entity which they think will fork over some loot. This is kind of like crime victims who seek money by suing gun makers for their injuries - rather than taking on the perps or thugs who actually harmed them.


          As for the loaning analogy - it fails. Loaning a car to a friend is quite a bit different than renting vehicles to paying customers.

          The difference is you are loaning a car to a friend and have a right to be ****ed. Thrifty's sole source of income is renting out those vehicles, and should've taken more steps to protect themselves from illegal activity in the first place.

          Yeah, I was thinking that after I sent my last post. Still, though, it was the first thing that came to mind -- and I would be very angry if it happened to me.


          Thrifty is now on my boycott list too.

          I never rented from them before, so I don't know much about them. I guess they're like Hertz, Avis, Alamo, Budget, etc. I wonder if similar things have happened to other rental car companies. After all, it is a safe bet that there are quite a few of them used for transporting narcotics.

          Last edited by VA Dutch; 05-29-2006, 02:04 PM.

          The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

          The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

          ------------------------------------------------

          "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

          Comment


          • #6
            Congrats on beating the obviously frivolous lawsuit.

            and I also know who not to rent cars from.


            what a freakin losing company.....they should have sued the renters.
            ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
            Oscar Wilde

            Comment


            • #7
              It was probably the insurance company on behalf of the car company, and the did it for one reason...

              You are indemnified.

              Lawsuits are sometimes like rifle bullets, addressed specificaly.

              Other times, its grapeshot, to whom it may consern.

              They didn't care if you were LE. They just know that you or your agency have deep pockets and they wanted in.

              Lawsuits, like $hi+, happen. Especialy if you are going to do your job.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by VA Dutch

                Even though some customer misused Thrifty's rental vehicle to haul dope, people from your agency should have done their best to "fix" it back to its original condition. (But them going after you for "loss of rental" is a little bit over the top.)


                I understand that agents should not just recklessly destroy a rental vehicle for no reason. Normally we try to find a trapdoor or mechanism to remove the dope without having the take the time to start ripping vehicles. However, in that case the bundles of marijuana had expanded in the cavities of the door panels and we couldnt get them out without using a pry bar. In my opinion it would be much more careless to knowingly leave bundles of dope in a vehicle and put innocent people at risk of a rrest in teh future.

                As for "fixing" the vehicles, we are not certified mechanics.

                I am not saying your people did not make an effort, but I could understand them being ticked off if you gave it back to them in a damaged condition. Think of how you would feel if you rented or loaned your car to a friend and the police tore it apart to find something and then gave it back to you all messed up. I am certain you would not be happy about it.
                In that case it was not a matter of tearing the vehicle apart to find something. We had already found the marijuana(a somewhat sunstantial amount, I might add). The damage was caused in removing the marijuana bundles. It wasn''t liek we tore up teh vehicle and didn't find anything or we just found a couple of ounces.

                I think what you are saying would be analagous to saying that if somebody wrecked a rented or stole a vehicle and tehn wrecked it that the police would be responsible for the damages. Ultimately the responsibility falls upon the person committing a criminal act.

                As for Thrifty being anti-cop, that might or might not be true. Nice to know you prevailed in the lawsuit, however, and maybe Thrifty may be more careful about those with whom they choose to do business.


                I think it definitely shows that Thrifty does not respect law enforcement. of course I am a little biased...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by VA Dutch

                  Even though some customer misused Thrifty's rental vehicle to haul dope, people from your agency should have done their best to "fix" it back to its original condition. (But them going after you for "loss of rental" is a little bit over the top.)

                  I am not saying your people did not make an effort, but I could understand them being ticked off if you gave it back to them in a damaged condition. Think of how you would feel if you rented or loaned your car to a friend and the police tore it apart to find something and then gave it back to you all messed up. I am certain you would not be happy about it.

                  As for Thrifty being anti-cop, that might or might not be true. Nice to know you prevailed in the lawsuit, however, and maybe Thrifty may be more careful about those with whom they choose to do business.



                  First off, I think it is pretty obvious why you are not a cop anymore.

                  The renter of the vehicle should be responsible for the damage that law enforcement officials had to do to take dangerous drugs and criminals off the street. Had the owner not rented a vehicle with the intent of transporting concealed drugs then Thrifty would not be in this situation. Why does Thrifty not have a clause in their contract stating that the renter is personally responsible for all loss resulting from illegal criminal activity?

                  It is ridiculous that Thrifty would file such such a frivolous lawsuit that is obviously without merit. The officer(s) acted in good faith and made a valid seizure and arrest. It is common practice that criminals rent cars to conduct illegal activity so as protect their own assets. Instead of blaming law enforcement, as everyone seems to want to do these days, maybe the barrel should swing in the other direction. Thrifty has created an environment that is conducive for criminal activity.
                  "Would I ever leave this company? Look, I'm all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I'm being paid for here is my loyalty. But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I'm going wherever they value loyalty the most. " --Dwight K Schrute (The Office)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The criminal likely doesn't have any assets.

                    LE agencies do.

                    Deep pocket theory, people. Come on. Don't tell me never heard of it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by VA Dutch

                      Even though some customer misused Thrifty's rental vehicle to haul dope, people from your agency should have done their best to "fix" it back to its original condition. (But them going after you for "loss of rental" is a little bit over the top.)

                      I am not saying your people did not make an effort, but I could understand them being ticked off if you gave it back to them in a damaged condition. Think of how you would feel if you rented or loaned your car to a friend and the police tore it apart to find something and then gave it back to you all messed up. I am certain you would not be happy about it.

                      As for Thrifty being anti-cop, that might or might not be true. Nice to know you prevailed in the lawsuit, however, and maybe Thrifty may be more careful about those with whom they choose to do business.



                      The responsibility lies on the person who signed the rental agreement, when the vehicle was leased (which is a binding contract). By signing this, they assume ALL responsibility and damage to that vehicle. That's why you should always pay the extra insurance, in case something happens. In this case, the leasee deliberately concealed ILLEGAL narcotics in the vehicle. Agents don't have the time to carefully take apart a vehicle to get out any contraband. The K-9 will alert to a part of the vehicle where the narcotics are hidden, but unless the driver suddenly "Sees the light", they won't know exactly where it is or how to get to it the way it was put in. If these rental companies had half a conscience, they would go after the driver and any co-conspirator and seize their assets, until the cost of the damage is recovered. This is common practice on the southern border.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Been sued four times and been to federal court once. Case was found for the defendant(s) and the others dismissed due to pro se folks not filing briefs and such. If you do your job proactively and not from call to call, you will get sued somehow...sometime. At least, the next time you get a thrifty rental which is loaded, I would send it back to them in pieces!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mitchell_in_CT
                          The criminal likely doesn't have any assets.

                          LE agencies do.

                          Deep pocket theory, people. Come on. Don't tell me never heard of it.

                          That was a point I had made earlier....but it seemed to elude some folks here.

                          Thanks, Mitch.

                          The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

                          The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

                          ------------------------------------------------

                          "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by miked6
                            First off, I think it is pretty obvious why you are not a cop anymore.

                            Not even close......but I got a good laugh out of that one. Thank you, sir. I needed one to end the weekend.


                            Originally posted by miked6
                            The renter of the vehicle should be responsible for the damage that law enforcement officials had to do to take dangerous drugs and criminals off the street. Had the owner not rented a vehicle with the intent of transporting concealed drugs then Thrifty would not be in this situation. Why does Thrifty not have a clause in their contract stating that the renter is personally responsible for all loss resulting from illegal criminal activity?

                            Perhaps they do, Mike, but again.......they want to go where the pockets are deep. As I alluded to earlier today, it is part of the same thinking that has crime victims going after firearms manufacturers instead of the criminals who deliberately & illegally used the product to harm others.


                            Originally posted by miked6
                            It is ridiculous that Thrifty would file such such a frivolous lawsuit that is obviously without merit. The officer(s) acted in good faith and made a valid seizure and arrest. It is common practice that criminals rent cars to conduct illegal activity so as protect their own assets. Instead of blaming law enforcement, as everyone seems to want to do these days, maybe the barrel should swing in the other direction. Thrifty has created an environment that is conducive for criminal activity.

                            It may also be a particular branch manager or location used by Thrifty - and not the whole company. Sometimes their local offices probably have a certain degree of autonomy regarding such things. We just don't know that for sure.

                            As for them creating an environment "conducive to criminal activity," I shudder to think of how many other rental car companies may end up doing the same thing.


                            Anyway, peace and good night to all. Another day looms ahead tomorrow.

                            The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

                            The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

                            ------------------------------------------------

                            "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mitchell_in_CT
                              The criminal likely doesn't have any assets.

                              LE agencies do.

                              Deep pocket theory, people. Come on. Don't tell me never heard of it.
                              I think for the most part that holds true but let me fill you in a little more on this particular case. Thrifty origianlly placed a tort claim on the Federal Government and it was dismissed by a judge. They the filed another law suit naming the government + the three agents as defendants. The claim against the government was dismissed again, leaving the three agents as the sole defendants. For the past year tehy have been pusuing a lawsuit against 3 Border Patrol Agents, NOT the Federal Government.

                              I may have more assets than the amateur dope smugglers, but I do not have teh money to pay for some rificulous lawsuit like that. That's why I take this so personal- they weren't suing the agency but instead ehy were suing ME and 2 other officers. It just wasn't something taht I would have expected from a corporate entity like that.

                              Comment

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