OLD Media Moves

Lawsuit claims Hertz was defamed by guest on CNBC show

October 7, 2009

A lawsuit filed in New Jersey by the Hertz rental car business could have a chilling effect on what analysts and investors say to business journalists.

Chris Fry of the Courthouse News Service reports that Audit Integrity’s CEO defamed Hertz Global Holdings on CNBC by stating that Hertz is among 20 major companies most likely to go bankrupt because of its fraudulent financial reporting, the rental-car business owner claims in Bergen County Superior Court.

Fry writes, “In September, Audit Integrity and CEO Jack Zwingli allegedly issued a press release stating that several companies, including Hertz, have ‘potential for fraudulent reporting of financial statements.’

“Audit Integrity is an independent research firm that evaluates companies’ transparency, reliability and risks.

“To promote the report, Zwingli went on CNBC and spread the message that Hertz ‘lacks integrity, lies to shareholders and others, engages in fraudulent financial reporting, and is heading for bankruptcy,’ the lawsuit states.

“‘Defendants made these false statements knowing how defamatory and disruptive such charges can be to a publicly traded company,’ Hertz adds.”

Read more here. CNBC is not named as a defendant in the case.

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