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6th Circuit rules in battle over $13.99 car rental fee

A two-and-a-half year legal battle comes down to this

Imagine spending two-and-a-half years of your life quibbling over $13.99. Well, that’s exactly what Michael Salling did, and one can only imagine he racked up far more than that in legal fees while pursuing his case against Budget Rent-A-Car.

Salling rented a car from the Cleveland airport, drove it for 64 miles, filled up the gas tank and returned it. But Budget charged him $13.99 for fuel service, and, presumably stuck on the principle of the thing, Salling launched a legal battle over the fee in August 2009.

Salling claimed the charge was a breach of the contract he had with Budget, which allowed him to avoid paying fuel fees by returning the car with a full tank of gas. Budget argued that he also needed to provide a receipt in order to get the charge waived.

On Wednesday, the 6th Circuit affirmed the district court’s original ruling that Budget had not breached its contract. The court also found that Salling’s payment was voluntary, and the “contract was not ambiguous.” After all that, it must seem like it would’ve just been easier to pay the $13.99.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

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