Drivers Fight Back After Towing Company Allegedly Over-Billed Them

Two drivers filed a class action suit on Wednesday against towing companies that they said  had illegally billed them.

Bill McCartney said that he is suing after Camcar Towing charged more than what the state allows.

McCartney said that he was charged a $30 administrative fee on top of the 490 towing fee and $12 storage fee that the state allows.

“Unfortunately, I was over a barrel,” McCartney said. “I had no choice but to pay them.”

10 Investigates first exposed that both Shamrock and Camcar towing companies allegedly charged customers more than the $102 max in 2009.

McCartney said that he felt compelled to sue the companies after a number of people faced the same issue.

“I knew they had to be stopped, and the only way to stop them was to hit them in the pocket book again,” McCartney said.

Camcar officials did not immediately return 10 Investigates’ phone calls. Shamrock officials told 10 Investigates to speak to the company’s lawyer, who said that he was not available.

In the past, a Camcar manager said the company was “not ripping anyone off.” Shamrock officials told 10 Investigates that the company needs to charge administrative fees to cover expenses.

“It is definitely illegal,” said Fred Gittes, McCartney’s attorney. He filed the class-action suit on Wednesday morning and said that he did not buy the towing companies’ defense.

“Well, self-help is illegal, in most cases,” Gittes said. “If they really had a problem, there’s a legislature downtown they could go to.”

Gittes said his main challenge was to include all of the alleged victims. Gittes needs significantly more plaintiffs to continue the law suit as a class action. He told 10 Investigates he hoped victims contact his office.

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Previous Stories:

October 29, 2009:

Some Tow Truck Companies Charging More Than They Should

February 17, 2011:

Tow Companies Still Charging Drivers More Than What's Allowed