A group of 278 of Volkswagen's institutional investors have filed a 3.255-billion euro ($3.6 billion) lawsuit in Germany against the automaker. The shareholders claim the company didn't live up to its duty to inform them of the diesel emissions scandal, according to Reuters.

"Due to the fact that – according to our information and experience - Volkswagen AG persistently denies any settlement negotiations and also refuses to waive the statue of limitation defense until now, it was necessary to file this first multi-billion Euro lawsuit," said Andreas Tilp, managing partner of TISAB and TILP, which are the firms handling the suit. The investors comprise companies from all over the world, including from Germany, Japan, the UK, and the California pension fund Calpers. Tilp also claims that over 20 more institutional investors have come to him with damage claims of over a billion euros ($1.1 billion).

In a long statement in early March, VW tried to address allegations that the company didn't meet its shareholder disclosure allegations. The company admitted that that former chairman Martin Winterkorn received two memos about the diesel emissions problem, but executives didn't believe the issue was too serious. They reportedly didn't realize the extent of the problem until the Environmental Protection Agency's violation notice last September.

VW's legal problems only seem to keep growing. In the US, a former employee has sued the automaker for wrongful termination after the company allegedly fired him for reporting deletion of emissions scandal data. The Department of Justice also sued the company for billions in fines over the pollution.

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PRESS RELEASE: FIRST GERMAN MULTI-BILLION LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST VW

VW Volkswagen Schadensersatz Abgas Manipulation
Andreas W. Tilp

Kirchentellinsfurt, 15.03.16

VW-Dieselgate: First German multi-billion Euro lawsuit filed against Volkswagen AG at the Regional Court in Brunswick for 278 institutional investors from all over the world totaling 3.255 billion Euros

TISAB Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH (TISAB) filed the first German multi-billion Euro lawsuit against Volkswagen AG at the exclusively competent Regional Court in Brunswick, yesterday, on Monday afternoon. The subject-matters of this lawsuit are several breaches of duty on the capital market committed by Volkswagen AG concerning the timeframe between June 6, 2008 and September 18, 2015. The 278 claimants are exclusively institutional investors from all over the world, amongst others are investors from Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA and Taiwan. These include inter alia 17 German financial investment management companies, insurance companies as well as CalPERS, one of the largest Pension Funds in the US. According to German law, these had to opt-in in order to join the lawsuit.

The value of the claim amounts to 3.255.002.361,66 Euros. The lawsuit is being funded by an international consortium consisting of Claims Funding Europe (www.claimsfundingeurope.eu), DRRT (www.drrt.com); Grant & Eisenhofer (www.gelaw.com) and Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP (www.ktmc.com).

TISAB is a sister law firm of TILP with its office in Tuebingen. "Due to the fact that – according to our information and experience - Volkswagen AG persistently denies any settlement negotiations and also refuses to waive the statue of limitation defense until now, it was necessary to file this first multi-billion Euro lawsuit. We are pleased that so many institutional entities from all over the world have mandatedus to represent them in this lawsuit", explains Andreas Tilp, managing partner of TISAB and TILP. „Also with this lawsuit we filed a motion for a model case to initiate KapMuG-proceedings because this will significantly enhance the chances for claimants according to our experience" adds Tilp, whose law firm TILP has already successfully conducted model case proceedings against large German enterprises such as Deutsche Telekom AG or Hypo Real Estate Holding AG..

Due to the fact that on September 19, 2016, significant material claims threaten to lapse under the respective statute of limitation period, the aforementioned consortium of funders will finance further lawsuits for institutional entities against Volkswagen AG, represented by TISAB. For this purpose another more than 20 institutional investors with damage claims totaling more than one billion Euro have approached us. As is well-known, the TILP law firm already filed the first shareholder claim against VW on October 1, 2015. This claim was based on VW's failure to publish ad hoc information in connection with the so-called emissions scandal in due time. TILP achieved that with its statement of defense as of February 29, 2016 the Volkswagen AG itself has now requested the initiation of KapMuG-proceedings. Against this background a model case proceeding becomes apparent with the utmost probability. This proceeding then will be tried at the Higher Regional Court in Brunswick.


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