Historic consumer fraud case against Volkswagen over “Clean Diesel” emissions led to unprecedented settlements valued at over $14 billion

At its 2018 awards ceremony, the California Daily Journal has named Lieff Cabraser attorneys Elizabeth J. Cabraser, Kevin R. Budner, Phong-Chau Nguyen, and Wilson M. Dunlavey as recipients of the 2018 California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) Award for their work on the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Emissions Fraud MDL. The CLAY awards are given annually to outstanding California practitioners “whose extraordinary work and cases had a major impact on the law.”

As the Daily Journal described the VW litigation, “The massive class action involved a world-renowned auto company mired in scandal, a third-party technology company that helped orchestrate one of the largest regulation-evading fraud schemes in history, and thousands of consumers and car dealerships stuck with defective vehicles they could not drive without violating the law.”

The combined funding commitment by VW to pay 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter TDI class claims is from $11.2- $14.2 billion, with over $5 billion to be paid in civil environmental payments. Consumers have already received repairs on 50,000 vehicles and $9 billion in payments. More than 95 percent of the class has participated in the buyback or repair programs available as a result of the unprecedented settlement in the litigation.

To achieve this result, as the Journal noted, “[Cabraser] was able to assemble a group of outstanding trial lawyers who were able to put their ego aside and work together as a team in order to achieve this historical settlement in record time.”

Congratulations to Elizabeth, Kevin, Phong, and Wilson, along with special mention to non-California practitioner and Lieff Cabraser New York office partner David S. Stellings for his extraordinary contributions to the outstanding success of the VW litigation.

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