Kagan pens op-ed on VW scandal, power of class actions

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The Portland Press Herald and its sister newspapers in the MaineToday Media company published an op-ed piece today by attorney Daniel Kagan of the Berman & Simmons law firm, about the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal.

Kagan is a fierce consumer advocate. He believes corporations like the Volkswagen Group need to be held fully accountable when they make false representations.

In the op-ed, Kagan argues that the recently announced settlement in the VW case demonstrates the power and importance of the class action lawsuit in the U.S. He compares the results of the settlement for American consumers to VW diesel owners in Europe, who have no way to seek compensation as a group. As individuals, those owners are essentially powerless to take on the world’s second-largest automaker, Kagan writes.

Click here to read the full op-ed on the Press Herald website. Here is an excerpt:

Maine Voices: Volkswagen’s settlement shows power of American class action lawsuit

By Daniel G. Kagan

Special to the Press Herald

Volkswagen is in big trouble. The world’s second largest automaker got caught selling more than 11 million vehicles worldwide with cheating emissions devices. The German company was forced to admit that it intentionally and purposely lied about how much their diesel cars pollute.

Now, in every country where its diesels are sold, VW faces enormous fines and maybe even criminal charges.

But what if you’re one of the 11 million consumers worldwide who bought into the VW “clean diesel” myth? Unless you’re in America, you’re probably out of luck.

Soon, 475,000 Volkswagen diesel owners in the U.S. – including 3,600 Mainers – will face a decision. With much fanfare, on June 28, Volkswagen of America announced that it will spend over $10 billion to either fix or buy back every cheating vehicle sold in the United States. American VW owners get to decide which.

This announcement is a huge victory for American consumers – not just VW diesel owners, but also everyone who buys anything on good faith that the product was built with integrity. It is a victory thanks to American law allowing class action lawsuits.

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