Just four days ago the US Environmental Protection Agency accused German automaker Volkswagen AG it had purposely rigged certain diesel engines to falsify emissions tests.
Now lawyers across the US have already initiated more than 25 class actions on behalf of tens of the owners across all 50 states – and only during the weekend the company actually admitted to the accusations, while adding on Tuesday it had equipped 11 million diesel-powered cars with the “defeat device” across the globe. One motif for the fast rally of class action lawyers is the company had always marketed its cars to upscale professionals – now the move is backfiring, as plaintiff lawyers found numerous lawyers among friends and colleagues. The lead plaintiff in the first case filed is David Fiol – a personal injury attorney from San Francisco. He was directed by another lawyer towards Steve Berman, a lead partner at Hagens Berman, major household when it comes to plaintiffs’ class action law firms.
“I was like, ‘Holy Batman,'” Berman comments. “I’ve talked other people into buying those cars.” He even acquired two VW diesel cars for his two sons, as he was mesmerized by VW’s arguments about “clean diesel” autos. Berman’s Seattle-based law firm delivered the first emissions-related consumer class action lawsuit against Volkswagen on Friday – just hours after the scandal was initiated. The federal court in San Francisco might have an easy pick with the lawsuit, which claims the company defrauded consumers by falsely representing the car’s economy and emissions data.