The U.S. Department of Justice and Volkswagen have asked a federal court panel to combine all lawsuits against the manufacturer into a single court in Detroit, Michigan. The panel, known as the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation, will hear arguments on the matter in New Orleans on Thursday and a decision from the panel should come shortly thereafter.
Volkswagen is currently responding to lawsuits that have been filed in more than 40 states and likely to be filed in all 50 soon. The lawsuits stem from the manufacturer’s attempt to get around emissions standards in more nearly 500,000 vehicles by installing software the cheat the tests. Suits have been filed in Kentucky for Volkswagen owners citing the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act.
In some large cases, consolidation is warranted and is even beneficial to damaged consumers because it enables a more efficient process for resolving claims. However, in this case, injured Kentucky consumers should have the right to seek damages in Kentucky courts as opposed to being bound to federal court rulings. Some Kentucky cases that have been filed in state court, have been removed to federal courts by Volkswagen in an attempt to have the cases joined together. Attorneys for the Kentucky Volkswagen owners have filed motions to remand the cases back to state court for prompt adjudication.