Volkswagen knows it has a long legal battle ahead of it over the diesel emissions contretemps. History is a good enough guide for that knowledge, even better are the 350 lawsuits filed in 41 states and the District of Columbia so far, with more coming daily. Come what may, the company does not want to fight that battle in California, which is where some of the plaintiff's attorneys who are aiming to combine cases have requested they be transferred.

VW says "California is not a convenient forum for this litigation," and that there's nothing material that concerns The Golden State. Those plaintiff's attorneys - perhaps just maybe trying to secure a venue known for handsome judgments - argue for the west coast citing VW's North American emissions testing outfit just north of Los Angeles, and the California Air Resources Board emissions test facility just east of Los Angeles. Plaintiffs seek compensation for the premiums paid for their diesels and the lost value, or a refund of the purchase price minus depreciation.

VW has suggested federal courts in Alexandria, VA near the US EPA and the company's US headquarters in Herndon, VA or Detroit, MI where the automaker was based in the US until 2008. Other plaintiff's counsels have suggested Virginia and Michigan as well, and four other states outside of California. If it goes to Alexandria or Detroit, both courts have lighter caseloads than California courts and typically get cases expedited more quickly. The requests are being filed for a panel of seven judges who will decide whether to combine cases and who will preside over them. That hearing will take place on December 3 in New Orleans.


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