SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#bosch–U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer, overseeing the landmark Volkswagen
Dieselgate lawsuits, issued an order allowing the RICO and state law
claims of consumers who sold their affected vehicles prior to the
disclosure of the fraud to continue, according to Hagens Berman.
upholds the claims of tens of thousands of prior owners of affected
diesel vehicles that Bosch and Volkswagen participated in a conspiracy
to create and implement an emissions cheating defeat device in nearly
600,000 cars sold in the United States. The Dieselgate fraud, plaintiffs
state, harmed all purchasers of affected vehicles (whether or not they
still owned the cars when the fraud was disclosed) because they: (1)
paid a premium and/or financing fees for features that they never
received; and (2) the premiums caused their vehicles to depreciate more
than cars without the premium diesel features would have depreciated
over the same period of ownership. Judge Breyer agreed, finding that
Plaintiffs had adequately alleged Article III standing to bring their
In his order, Breyer stated that the claims on behalf of prior owners
were based on a “novel twist” and that plaintiffs “plausibly alleged
that Bosch partnered with Volkswagen to implement the defeat device in
the affected vehicles, and by doing so participated in the conduct of a
years-long enterprise to defraud U.S. regulators and consumers.” Judge
Breyer rejected Bosch’s arguments that its actions were not a direct and
proximate cause of Plaintiffs’ injuries and concluded: “Plaintiffs’
allegations are sufficient to support that Bosch engaged in racketeering
activity in violation of RICO, and that Plaintiffs suffered a concrete
injury to their property ‘by reason’ of this activity. The RICO claims
against Bosch are well pled.”
Judge Breyer also rejected Volkswagen’s arguments that federal law
preempted the state law claims against it for misrepresenting the
virtues of its diesel cars and concealing the defeat devices. While the
Court ordered Plaintiffs to replead their misrepresentation claims with
more particularity, Judge Breyer held that the omission-based claims
would go forward as pled.
“Judge Breyer’s latest order is a resounding rejection of Volkswagen and
Bosch’s attempt to unjustly escape compensating tens of thousands of
former owners of VW and Audi cars for the harm caused by purposefully
cheating on emissions,” said Steve W. Berman, the lead attorney
representing car owners in the case.
“We intend to hold Volkswagen and Bosch fully accountable for the harm
their fraud and criminal enterprise caused all deceived VW buyers, even
those who sold their cars before Volkswagen admitted its fraud. Until
and unless Volkswagen and Bosch agree to fair compensation for these
victims of their fraud, we will vigorously pursue these RICO claims.”
Steve Berman is a leading consumer-rights attorney and co-founder of
Hagens Berman. He was appointed to the plaintiffs’ steering committee in
the nationwide consolidated class-action lawsuit against Volkswagen and
is also pursuing claims on behalf of Volkswagen’s franchise dealers.
Hagens Berman has filed multiple nationwide lawsuits against Bosch for
its alleged participation in similar diesel emissions racketeering
schemes with other carmakers, including Daimler (Mercedes), Fiat
Chrysler, General Motors and Ford.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law
firm with 10 offices across the country. The firm has been named to the
National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the
law firm and its successes can be found at https://www.hbsslaw.com.
Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
Ashley Klann, 206-268-9363