U.S. Civil Suits Against Volkswagen To Be Heard in California
Panel Cites Large Number of Cases from State, CARB Role
A United States Judicial Panel has determined the 451 civil suits filed against Volkswagen will be heard in California, citing the large percentage of suits originating in the state, as well as the key role played by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in uncovering the cheating. The judge overseeing the cases will be U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, the brother of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. The panel also said it may separately adjudicate cases regarding securities fraud and loss of income to a separate judge and case. Volkswagen’s U.S. offices have confirmed they have received the notification, but had no further comment other than “We will vigorously defend the company in these cases,” according to Reuters.
The estimated 482,000 cars affected by the scandal in the U.S. is a drop in the bucket in terms of the global total, which is estimated to be as many as 11 million cars. Discovered subsequent to the investigation into the TDI emissions cheating scandal is the revelation that Volkswagen may have also underreported CO2 emissions on gasoline models in Europe. After an offer of amnesty for any employees that came forward with information related to the scandal, 50 employees have reportedly come forward.