Entrance to San Diego International Airport. Photo by Chris Stone

A $6.6 million settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit filed by a New Mexico man against the San Diego Unified Port District over what he alleged were illegal fees charged when he rented cars at San Diego International Airport, it was announced Friday.

The suit filed by Jeffrey Garvin alleges a $3.50 fee charged to rental car customers was actually a tax designed to collect fees to fund a parking garage to be built adjacent to the proposed Chula Vista Bayfront Convention Center.

Garvin alleged it was illegal, as any special tax must be approved by two-thirds of voters, per Propositions 13 and 218.

The issue has led to numerous lawsuits filed in state and federal court between Garvin, the port district and the various rental car companies that collected the fees.

According to a settlement notice issued by the court, the settlement includes anyone who rented vehicles from any rental car company originating at San Diego International Airport, the adjacent Rental Car Center or other locations on Port tidelands between May 10, 2018 and July 24, 2020, and were charged the $3.50 fee.

The notice says potential class members have until Oct. 20 to indicate whether they want to be part of the proposed settlement, which still requires approval from a judge. A final approval hearing is slated for Nov. 13 in San Diego Superior Court.

More information is available at https://www.rentalcarfeesettlement.com/ or by calling 855-907-2110.

–City News Service