[JURIST] German law firm TISAB on Monday filed a lawsuit [press release] against Volkswagen AG [corporate website] on behalf of investors alleging a breach of duty to the capital market. The €3.255 billion lawsuit was brought in a German multi-regional court in Brunswick. The law firm filed a motion for a model case to initiate KapMuG-proceedings for the claims presented, which is akin to a US class action lawsuit. TISAB’s parent firm TILP [firm website, in German] stated that Volkswagen did not agree to settlement. Several firms around the world are supporting the suit [Business Wire report], including US-based firms, Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP and Grant & Eisenhofer PA, as well as international investor protection firm DRRT and Ireland-based litigation funding company Claims Funding Europe Ltd.
The US Department of Justice [official website] filed suit [JURIST report] against Volkswagen in early January for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act [text]—the latest development in the Volkswagen scandal [JURIST op-ed]. Last year the Braunschweig public prosecutor’s office opened a criminal investigation [JURIST report] of former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, following accusations that the company cheated on government emissions tests by manipulating exhaust valves. The investigation followed several criminal complaints, including one filed by Volkswagen, and came less than a week after Winterkorn stepped down as CEO of the company. In his statement he accepted “responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines” and said that he was “clearing the way for this fresh start with [his] resignation.” One California federal judge is currently overseeing hundreds of lawsuits, and 47 state attorneys general are also investigating.