Lawyers Quicker Off The Line To Sue Volkswagen Than Broken TDIs

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
lawyers quicker off the line to sue volkswagen than broken tdis

Only hours after Friday’s announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency notified Volkswagen that its cars were illegally polluting, David Fiol, a personal injury attorney in San Francisco, had filed a class-action lawsuit through a Seattle law firm in federal court.

He wasn’t alone either. Reuters reported that at least 25 class-action lawsuits were filed within hours of the EPA’s announcement as lawyers line up to take the lead on what could be one of the largest lawsuits against an automaker in history. Being the lead firm could be lucrative for the lead attorneys: A $2.65 billion 2006 judgement against AOL Time Warner on behalf of shareholders netted the lead firm’s owners $70 million in fees.

And according to the report, law firms don’t have to look far for clients. Many attorneys are VW TDI owners — a clear downside for having an highly educated customer base.

“These cars appealed to a certain segment,” Alabama lawyer Tony Mastando told Reuters. “We have conscientious friends who bought the cars with the belief they were doing something good.”

Many law firms are advertising online for clients in an effort to boost their base to bid for the top spot. According to one law firm looking for clients online:

“Many recalls of automobiles have occurred in recent years but none appears to be garnering the scorn of consumers like that of the recent Volkswagen/Audi diesel engine debacle. Apparently, the German automaker has been cheating on U.S. emissions tests for years through a clever software program designed to dupe the system … But where does that leave the some half million consumers who own or lease these cars? Likely the courts will have to solve this matter.”

According to the report, many lawyers say they won’t have to go that far. Steve Berman, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Fiol, said his Seattle firm has fielded more than 2,000 calls from VW and Audi owners since Friday.

“We have never seen anything like this,” Berman told Reuters.

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2 of 21 comments
  • Kyree Kyree on Sep 24, 2015

    Yay. And when I get my $23 from the class-action lawsuit, I'll be sure to use it as a down payment on a set of all-weather floor mats.

  • Wheatridger Wheatridger on Sep 24, 2015

    Side note-- regarding the half-witty headline, I image that there's plenty of things quicker off the line than a broken TDI. A five-year-old leading a goat would be quicker than a Corvette, if it was a broken Corvette.

  • Zipper69 How much of a bite of the market has the BRONCO taken?The "old technology" of the Cherokee can't compete...
  • JMII So this pretty much confirms the long standing rumor that the C8 platform was designed for hybrid AWD support. If this is even faster then the current Z06 it will be a true rocket ship. GM was already hinting that even more impressive C8 was coming, most assume a turbo ZR1 but an e-assist AWD package seems more like... and apparently it will be called E-Ray.
  • Tassos the announcement is unnecessarily verbose, aka full of it. Most 'justifications" for the shutdown are shameless lies.
  • Jwee I can post images...?????
  • Jwee @Bobby D'OppoThere is no element of the reported plan that involves taking people's carsSeems like you missed the Southpark reference: comment was humor (or humour if you prefer). The city council is not literally taking people's cars, but seems like they wouldn't mind a drop in car ownership. More cyclists! Less pollution! More public transport! A £70 fine per violation! Surely if they came out and said "we are going to take your car", they would get a very stern letter written to them in the strongest language possible, or perhaps even called a bunch of rotters. I am all for good transport networks, but this is just a terrible plan. Visit Amsterdam, and study how to manage traffic skillfully in a dense, medieval city, with no traffic cameras whatsoever, with first rate public transport, where pedestrians, bikes, boats and cars coexist.