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Man sues Hertz over receipt that cleared him of murder

A man is suing hertz after they lost a receipt that proved his innocence.

We all make mistakes and misplace things from time to time. And that is okay. Because, thankfully, most of the time, our mistakes do not cost someone years of their life in prison. It is not okay when companies or local businesses lose or break something you had already paid for. Due to a combination of bureaucratic incompetence and racist undertones, an innocent man was imprisoned for five years. So, now, he is seeking respiration by suing the car rental company, Hertz.

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Man sues Hertz over a receipt that proves his innocence 

Car rental company Hertz is being sued by a local man from Michigan. His name is Herbert Alford. In 2016 Herbert was convicted of second-degree murder and two weapons charges. Hertz was unable to produce a receipt that would prove his alibi and his innocence. Herbert was linked to the murder of Micheal Adams, a 23-year-old man from Lansing, Michigan, and sentenced to 30 years minimum. [1]

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In an interview with Linsey Davis of ABC News, Alford said:

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It was a nightmare, it was surreal, this could not be happening…I knew they got the receipt and they knew I was there.

Hertz was finally able to provide the evidence that Herbert so desperately needed. It proved that in 2018 he had rented a car in the Lansing area near the airport when the murder in question took place. The charges and convictions were dropped earlier this year. Alford said that he always hoped that the truth would come out one day. He went on to say:

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Being away from my family and kids, I have an 11-year-old that I’ve been missing field trips with and going to school concerts and plays, it is unbelievable” 

Was this all just bureaucratic incompetence? 

Herbert’s lawyers stated that Mr Alford would not have spent any time behind bars.[2]

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Had the defendants not continuously ignored and disobeyed numerous court orders requiring them to produce the documentation that would eventually free my client” 

According to the lawsuit, Hertz had been subpoenaed to provide the receipt in June of 2015.

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There were multiple requests to produce the documentation by both myself as well as the court between 2016 and 2018 until it was finally provided. At no point in time did they ever respond; we were left to wonder why the case, why that was, folks can speculate, I suspect that they don’t respond to most litigation this way. I think they saw an African American man charged with homicide and chose that it wasn’t worth their time.

Jamie White, Alford’s lawyer and friend.

Hertz commented on Whites words and said;

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The characterizations being alleged are simply untrue. We were in communication with Mr White well prior to 2018 and let him know we could not locate the rental agreement given the length of time that had elapsed. With advances in data search in the years following, we were able to locate another record associated with the rental in 2018 and promptly provided it.

Any claim that race or social-economic status had any bearing on our response or its timeliness was false. We take all requests for information pertaining to legal cases seriously. Furthermore, Hertz never solicits information about someone’s race or ethnicity”

They also expressed that they were “deeply saddened” to hear about what Mr. Alford had gone through and their role in all of it.

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While we were unable to find the historic rental record from 2011 when it was requested in 2015, we continued our good faith efforts to locate it.” 

The aftermath 

It is reprehensible that a company would not respond to the courts and put my client’s life in danger. I think it’s an important point: We were not asking them to mine millions of documents over the years that were unrelated to this incident and unrelated to someone they had done business with. This was their customer, he spent money with them, and I think our requests were quite simple, and I think those request of the court were quite simple.” [1]

Mr. Alford has stated that he seeks monetary compensation, but his case may be delayed due to Hertz’s bankruptcy reorganization. He says that since leaving prison, he spends all his available time with his family. He is also trying to get back into the workforce. Mr. Alford also hopes that a broader message is delivered. He says:

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I just want people to feel like they could trust the people they deal with, it makes me feel like the only time they care about their customers is when they’re spending their money with them, because every time I came to rent a car, their paperwork was all neat and in order, but when I needed paperwork to prove my innocence, suddenly everything is out of place and disordered.”

Keep Reading: Amazon employees accuse company of trying to ‘cover up’ alleged suicide

Sources

  1. Man sues Hertz over receipt corroborating murder alibi says being innocent and imprisoned was ‘surreal’.” ABC News. Anthony Rivas. March 16, 2021.
  2. Man Sues Hertz Over Lost Receipt That Was His Murder Alibi.” NY Times. March 11, 2021.
Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13 year old boy.
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