Volkwagen's diesel engine controversy leads to a lawsuit

By Hoang Tran | Oct 21, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Legal Newsline) – A police and firemen's association is suing Volkswagen over allegations of misleading its stockholders.

The city of St. Clair Shores Police and Fire Retirement System, on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit on Sept. 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Audi of America, Martin Winterkorn, Herbert Diess, Michael Horn, Jan Bures, Mark McNabb, Jonathan Browning, and Scott Keogh, citing violations of the Securities Exchange Act.

The plaintiffs allege that those stockholders who purchased, acquired, or retained stock or securities from the defendants' American Depositary Receipts during the period between Nov. 19, 2010, and Sept. 21 were misled. More specifically, the suit focuses on the false statements regarding the defendants' diesel engine. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants failed to disclose the usage of a defeat device in some of its diesel cars which allowed such cars to temporarily reduce emissions during testing but were turned off when it wasn’t being tested, thereby discharging higher emissions. This led many to believe that the defendants' vehicles were environmentally conscious, a claim that is false, and caused Volkswagen's stock to be traded at artificially inflated highs in December 2013, the complaint states. Stock prices significantly dropped in September, resulting "in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to Volkswagen ADR investors, who relied on the accuracy of defendants' statements and suffered when the truth began to be revealed," according to the complaint.

The plaintiff is suing for damages including interest, attorney fees and costs, and any other relief deemed just by the court. It is being represented by Craig C. Reilly of the Law Offices of Craig C. Reilly in Alexandria, Va.; the offices of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, LLP in San Francisco and Nashville, Tenn.; and the offices of Vanoverbeke Michaud & Timmony, P.C. in Detroit, Mich.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia case number 1:15-cv-01228-LO-MSN

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Organizations in this Story

Law Office of Craig C. Reilly Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP Vanoverbeke Michaud & Timmony

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