On June 19, 2017, Judge Edward M. Chen of the Northern District of California named Lieff Cabraser founding partner Elizabeth Cabraser as Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs and Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in litigation against Fiat Chrysler by brought by Jeep and Dodge owners over allegations the company bypassed diesel emission controls in nearly one hundred thousand vehicles. Ms. Cabraser also served in the same role in the recently-concluded case against Volkswagen for similar emissions violations in Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicles.
Judge Chen noted that Cabraser “has demonstrated her ability to serve as sole lead counsel in the VW multidistrict litigation,” and observed that “There is a consensus among VW PSC attorneys that Ms. Cabraser has been extremely effective in leading the VW team. She enjoys the support of a great number of fellow applicants, including those involved in the VW multidistrict litigation.”
Ms. Cabraser will oversee the nine-member Steering Committee in the Fiat Chrysler litigation as plaintiffs seek to hold the company accountable to allegations that 2014 to 2016 model year Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks contained devices that hid their true emissions production levels, despite advertising that touted the vehicles as being environmentally friend “eco-diesel” trucks.
In January of 2017, the U.S. EPA issued a formal notice of violation to Fiat Chrysler accusing the company of implementing software that allowed the engines in the approximately 100,000 Jeep and Dodge trucks to emit harmful gasses beyond allowable government limits. It is yet unknown whether the controls involved rise to the level of “defeat devices” that mask true emissions during testing, and then release the engines’ full output of noxious and environmentally harmful gasses during normal operation.
Ms. Cabraser noted that she was honored by the appointment and pleased to have the chance to work with what she described as a “stellar” steering committee. “I respect and applaud the balance of experience, continuity, diversity and inclusion achieved by the court — it’s good for the class and good for the case,” she stated. “We’ll hit the ground running to pursue the case and prepare for trial on the expedited schedule set by the court.”
Learn more about the Fiat Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Ram Dirty Diesels case.
About Elizabeth Cabraser
A name partner and co-founder of Lieff Cabraser, Ms. Cabraser chairs the firm’s personal injury and environmental litigation practice groups. One of the nation’s leading class action litigators and possessing unparalleled expertise in complex civil litigation, she has served as court-appointed lead, co-lead, or class counsel in scores of federal multi-district and state coordinated proceedings. Today, she serves in court-appointed leadership positions in several of the nation’s highest profile civil cases, including a solo leadership role in the VW “Clean Diesel” Emissions case, as well as lead positions in the GM ignition switch defect and Takata defective airbag cases.