[JURIST] Senior District Judge Charles Breyer [official profile] of the Northern District of California [official website] on Thursday blocked [opinion, PDF] a lawsuit filed by the state of Wyoming against Volkswagen AG (VW) [corporate website] over the diesel emission scandal. The court determined that because Volkswagen's illegal conduct occurred during the manufacturing process and impacted the US on a national level, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] would be better situated to both regulate VW and handle legal matters pertaining to the VW scandle. Wymoning was seeking up to an additional $1 billion dollars for damage caused to their environment as a result of VW's conduct. Commentators note [NYT report] that this ruling will likely lead to the dismissal of similar suits filed by other states.
The Volkswagen scandal began in September 2015 when it was leaked that Volkswagen had intentionally circumvented emissions tests through installing technology to determine when emissions testing would take place and alter the cars emissions during inspections. The company has since undergone litigation in a number of countries throughout the world. In May a federal court approved [JURIST report] a $25 billion settlement related to vehicles sold in the us. In April a German court upheld [JURIST report] the seizure of evidence against VW obtained during a raid of the law firm Jones Day. In December South Korea announced [JURIST report] plans to fine the company for false advertising. In October a Spanish court ordered [JURIST report] Volkswagen to pay a car owner €5,006 for the 10% decrease in the car's value due to the emissions cheating.