Following is a list of frequently asked questions about this Settlement. To view the answer to a question, please click on the question from the list below. The answers to these questions will be updated periodically to reflect the current status of the Settlement.
You were mailed the postcard Summary Notice because you were identified as a potential member of a Class consisting of persons in the United States who rented a vehicle from Hertz with the first day of rental between July 1, 2006 and March 31, 2010 and during that vehicle rental used the PlatePass® electronic toll payment service and paid PlatePass-Related Charges incurred during that vehicle rental.
The Court ordered that the postcard Summary Notice be sent because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit, and about all of your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the settlement. If the Court does enter a final approval of the settlement, Class Members who submitted valid and timely claims will be entitled to receive direct benefits in the form of a cash refund.
The Long Form Notice explains the lawsuit, the proposed settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.
The Court in charge of this case is the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the case is known as Susan Doherty, et al., v. The Hertz Corporation, et al., Civil Action Number 1:10-cv-00359-NLH-KWM. The individuals who filed the lawsuit are called the Plaintiffs, Class Plaintiffs or Class Representatives. The Class Representatives in this case are Susan Doherty and Dwight Simonson. The companies that they sued - The Hertz Corporation, American Traffic Solutions, Inc. and PlatePass LLC – are referred to as the Defendants.
The lawsuit alleges that Defendants did not adequately disclose PlatePass-Related Charges to customers who used PlatePass during the Class Period; breached Hertz's rental car contracts; violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act; wrongly converted Class Members' monies; were unjustly enriched; and engaged in a civil conspiracy. The Class Representatives seek relief on behalf of themselves and on behalf of all members of the Class who also paid PlatePass-Related Charges.
Defendants deny all of the claims filed and all allegations of wrongdoing or liability asserted against them. The parties have considered the risks, expenses, and time associated with continuing the Lawsuit and agree that the settlement is fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Plaintiffs and the Class.
Class actions are lawsuits in which the claims and rights of many people are decided in a single court proceeding. One or more class representatives are named in the lawsuit and sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims against the same defendant(s). By having the Class Representatives assert the claims of the entire class, the necessity for a large number of people to file similar individual lawsuits is avoided and the court system is able to resolve similar claims in an efficient and economical way. Class actions provide a vehicle whereby people with similar claims are treated alike.
In a class action, the court is guardian of class interests and supervises the prosecution of the class claims by class counsel to assure that the representation is adequate. Class members are not responsible for the costs or fees of counsel, which are subject to court award.
The attorneys representing members of the Class ("Class Counsel") conducted an extensive investigation relating to the allegations in the Lawsuit, which included inspection of documents and examining knowledgeable witnesses under oath. Class Counsel has also considered defenses available to, and asserted by, Defendants and reviewed the law relating to the allegations made by the Class Representatives. They have evaluated the benefits, risks, expenses, and length of time involved in pursuing this Lawsuit through trial and possible appeals, and have taken into account the inherent uncertainty of predicting the outcome of litigation.
Based on their consideration of all these factors, Class Counsel and Class Representatives have concluded that the Settlement Agreement will result in substantial benefits to Class Members and believe that the best interests of the Class are served by settling the Lawsuit on the terms set forth in the Settlement Agreement.
Defendants consider it desirable, fair, and reasonable to resolve the Lawsuit upon the terms in the Settlement Agreement in order to avoid the expense, risk, uncertainty, and interference with ongoing business operations inherent in any litigation.
You are a part of the settlement if you are a natural person in the United States who rented a vehicle from Hertz at any time between July 1, 2006 and March 31, 2010, and during that vehicle rental you used the PlatePass electronic toll payment service and thereafter paid PlatePass-Related Charges incurred during that vehicle rental.Return to top
Defendants will create and fund a Common Fund in the amount of eleven million four thousand dollars ($11,004,000) to make refund payments to eligible Class Members who submit valid claims on or before November 21, 2013. Class Members will receive a refund of certain percentages of the PlatePass-Related Charges they paid for their use of the PlatePass service as follows:
(1) Each eligible Class Member may be entitled to receive a refund of sixty-seven percent (67%) of the PlatePass-Related Charges (defined below) paid for his or her first use of PlatePass while renting a vehicle from Hertz during the Class Period.
(2) Each eligible Class Member may be entitled to receive a refund of thirty-eight percent (38%) of the PlatePass-Related Charges (defined below) for his or her subsequent uses of PlatePass while renting a vehicle from Hertz during the Claims Period.
PlatePass-Related Charges mean PlatePass Service Fees, formerly known as administrative fees, and any PlatePass-Related Toll Differentials, meaning the difference between a toll charged to the Class Member and the amount paid to the toll authority, if the toll amount charged to the Class Member was greater than what ATS paid to the toll authority.
There are different refund amounts for first and subsequent uses because it is presumed that renters who used and paid for the PlatePass service more than once had a certain degree of knowledge about PlatePass and related charges.
Additionally, changes and modifications were made to Hertz's customer rental agreement in 2010.
You must file a claim on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on November 21, 2013 to be eligible for a refund payment. Claim forms that are not timely submitted due to any communication or computer breakdowns or for any other reason will not be accepted. Class Members who submit online claims are provided an automated confirmation by email. Please provide a valid email address by which to confirm a successful claim submission.
To submit a claim online, CLICK HERE.
Payments will be mailed to the address provided on your claim. If you change your address in the future, you must notify the Settlement Administrator.
Alternatively, to print the Claim Form and submit by mail, CLICK HERE. Read the instructions carefully, fill out and sign the form, and mail it to the Settlement Administrator at the below address so it is received by the Settlement Administrator no later than November 21, 2013. Mailed forms that are not timely delivered will not be accepted.
Hertz PlatePass Settlement
PO Box 3615
Minneapolis, MN 55403-0615
The Court will hold a hearing on October 15, 2013 to decide whether to issue a final approval of the Settlement Agreement. If the Court approves the Settlement Agreement in its entirety and, after that, no appeal is taken, you will receive your payment shortly thereafter if you have submitted a valid and timely claim. If an appeal is taken, then resolving it may take some time, perhaps up to, or more than, a year, and payment will await the outcome of any such appeal. Once the settlement is approved and any appeals that were filed have been resolved, payments will be promptly distributed. Please be patient.Return to top
In exchange for the relief provided in the Settlement Agreement, Class Members will release their claims against Defendants relating to PlatePass-Related Charges. Thus, if the Settlement Agreement receives final court approval, Class Members who do not request to be excluded (opt out) will be bound by the Settlement Agreement and will release all claims and will not be allowed to sue Defendants for the claims resolved by this settlement.
Please review the details in the Long Form Notice or Settlement Agreement for more information about the Releases.
If you want to be excluded from the Class, you must submit a Request for Exclusion in writing. Unless you are legally authorized to execute a Request for Exclusion on behalf of another Class Member, you may only request exclusion for yourself.
Your Request for Exclusion must include your name, address, and a statement that you wish to be excluded from the Class in Susan Doherty and Dwight Simonson v. The Hertz Corporation, et al., Case No. 1:10-CV-00359.
You must send your written Request for Exclusion by first-class mail, or courier service (such as Federal Express or UPS) so it is received no later than September 24, 2013 to:
Hertz PlatePass Settlement
P.O. Box 3615
Minneapolis, MN 55403-0615
If you timely submit a Request for Exclusion from the Class, you will not be able to participate in the Settlement Agreement.
No. If you request exclusion you cannot submit a claim for benefits.Return to top
The Court has appointed attorneys from the three law firms listed below to represent Class Members. You do not need to hire your own lawyer; but you have the right to do so and have that lawyer enter an appearance on your behalf, which would be at your own expense.
Steven R. Jaffe, Esq.
Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L.
425 North Andrews Avenue, Suite 2
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Stephen A. Dunn, Esq.
Emanuel & Dunn PLLC
P.O. Box 426 (27602)
130 South Salisbury Street (27601)
Michael Coren, Esq.
Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C.
Two Commerce Square
2001 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
The attorneys representing the Class will apply to the Court for payment of their asserted attorneys' fees from Defendants; you will not be charged for their work.
Defendants have agreed not to oppose, and to pay, Class Counsel's attorneys' fees in an amount no greater than Three Million, Twenty-Six Thousand, One Hundred Dollars ($3,026,100) and expenses actually incurred in the Lawsuit of up to One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000), if approved by the Court upon application by Class Counsel. Class Counsel will request the Court to award them up to these amounts for such tasks as investigating the facts, and litigating and resolving the case. If approved by the Court, Class Counsel's attorneys' fees and expenses will be paid by the Defendants directly and will not reduce payment amounts available for satisfying valid claims by Class Members. The Court will decide how much should be paid to Class Counsel.
Also as part of the settlement, Susan Doherty and Dwight Simonson may apply for and receive, if approved and awarded by the Court, service payments of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) each to compensate them for the time and effort they devoted to the case.
If you wish to object to any portion of the Settlement Agreement, you must file an objection in writing with the Court and send copies to counsel identified below. If you object on behalf of any entity or any individual other than yourself, you must state your legal authority to object on behalf of that entity or other individual.
Any objection must include:
your name, address, and telephone number;
the name address and telephone number of any lawyer(s) representing you, if applicable; all of your objections to the Settlement Agreement and the bases for those objections, including a written statement of the position you assert, the reasons for your position as well as copies of any papers, briefs, or other documents and materials you wish the Court to consider; a statement of whether you would like the Court's permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing; and identification of each instance in which you, or a group in which you are a member, objected to a class action settlement or other ruling in the past five years. You must make yourself available to be deposed by Class Counsel and Defendants' Counsel in the county of the your residence within seven days of service of your timely written objection.
You must send your written objection by first-class mail or courier service (such as Federal Express or UPS) so it is received no later than September 24, 2013 to the Court, the Settlement Administrator, and the counsel listed below:
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don't like something about the settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don't want to be part of the Class. If you successfully exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.Return to top
A Final Approval Hearing will be held on October 15, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Noel L. Hillman of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, at Mitchell H. Cohen Building & U.S. Courthouse, 4th & Cooper Streets, Camden, NJ 08101.
At the Final Approval Hearing, the Court will determine whether to grant final approval of the certification of the Class, and whether the proposed Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and should be finally approved. At the Final Approval Hearing, the Court will also consider Class Counsel's request for an award of fees and costs and service awards for the Class Representatives. If the Settlement Agreement is approved, a Final Judgment will be entered dismissing the Lawsuit, with prejudice, and all members of the Class who have not chosen to be excluded from the Class, will be bound by the Settlement Agreement and Final Judgment.
You do not have to come to the hearing in order to participate or be part of the class action.
If you file an objection and include a request for the Court's permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing, you may be permitted to speak at the hearing. You are not, however, required to attend or speak at the hearing. As long as you mail a timely written objection, the Court will consider your views without requiring you to be present at the Hearing.
If you do nothing, you will remain a member of the Class and will be bound by the Settlement Agreement, if it is approved by the Court. You, however, will not receive any cash refund benefits from this Settlement Agreement. In order to share in those benefits under the Settlement Agreement, you must complete and timely submit a Claim Form.Return to top
Please do not call, email or contact the Court or the Clerk of the Court for additional information about the settlement.
These website FAQs and the Long Form Notice only contain summary information. The Settlement Agreement and other Settlement Documents can be viewed on this website. You may also contact Class Counsel at the addresses provided in Question 12.
This website will be updated as new information about the status of the settlement becomes available. You may also contact the Settlement Administrator by e-mail at mail@HertzPlatePassSettlement.com or by mail at: Hertz PlatePass Settlement, P.O. Box 3615, Minneapolis, MN 55403-0615.
© 2015 Hertz Platepass Settlement