Volkswagen obtained a ruling denying class certification in a case purportedly brought on behalf of multiple nationwide classes of thousands of consumers who bought used Volkswagen vehicles over a 14-year period. As a result of the January 13 decision by Judge Liam O’Grady of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which denied plaintiffs’ class certification motion in its entirety, only individual claims by eight used car purchasers remain.
The case involves cars that Volkswagen used for its internal purposes—such as for auto shows or for publicity loans to members of the automotive press—before Volkswagen dealers sold them as Certified Pre-Owned vehicles. Claiming that Volkswagen misrepresented the condition of these cars, the plaintiffs asked the court to certify three nationwide classes and sought compensatory and punitive damages, statutory penalties and attorneys’ fees.
Agreeing with all of Volkswagen’s arguments, Judge O’Grady concluded that “individual questions of fact and law differ wildly between and within each of the proposed subclasses,” and that any class action “would be unwieldy and improper due to the multitude of predominant individual questions that would need to be addressed for each proposed class member.”
The S&C team that is representing Volkswagen includes Robert Giuffra Jr., Suhana Han, Bill Monahan, Judson Littleton, Adam Brebner, Elizabeth Rose, Lee Deppermann and Stephanie Freudenberg. Suhana, Bill and Judd received a Litigator of the Week “Shout Out” from The American Lawyer for this result.
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