Press release – Volkswagen
Through our affiliation with the Global Justice Network, we have been in touch with U.S.-based attorneys who represent dozens of owners of affected Volkswagen cars throughout the United States. To date, nearly a hundred proposed class action lawsuits have been filed against Volkswagen in federal courts in the United States, with dozens more to come in the days and weeks ahead. (Class actions in the United States are representative cases in which one or a handful of individual plaintiffs advance claims against a common defendant or defendants who caused the same or similar injury to multiple persons in the same manner. Because of the uniformity of conduct and impact here, Volkswagen’s “diesel defeat” device seems tailor-made for a U.S. class action.) Over 480,000 Volkswagen cars in the U.S. are impacted by this fraud.
U.S. consumers of affected Volkswagen diesel cars are furious that they paid a premium – on average a mark-up of about U.S. $3,000 – for “clean diesel” cars when in fact they received “dirty diesel.” Consumers are personally frustrated that what they thought were their smart driving decisions for long commutes and daily household errands have in fact been spewing particulate emissions in the air at up to 40 times the legal limit. These consumers willingly paid more for a car they thought would pollute less, and now they are learning they in fact paid more to pollute more – something they were expressly trying to avoid. None of these consumers would have bought these Volkswagen cars, and certainly not at a premium price, if they had known the truth that it was “dirty diesel.”
Procedurally, the next step in the U.S. for these cases is that they will likely be consolidated before one judge, in one district, for pre-trial proceedings. At a December 3, 2015 hearing before the judicial panel on multi-district litigation, or “MDL”, a panel of judges will evaluate the Volkswagen cases, hear argument from counsel, including our U.S. colleagues, and make decisions about where to send the consolidated cases. Once the Volkswagen cases are sent to a designated judge, he or she will put in place a leadership structure of one or more law firms to lead the nationwide litigation. Discovery will start, and likely a motion to certify a class will be on file at some point in 2016.
It is certain that all eyes will be monitoring the development of these U.S. class cases, and we are fortunate to be affiliated with U.S. lawyers who are on the front lines of this fight. For more information please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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