Feds and VW want diesel suits consolidated in Detroit

The US Department of Justice and Volkswagen have actually found a point of agreement in the automaker's diesel emissions scandal, and both groups have asked the court to consolidate over 350 civil cases against the company in the US District Court in Detroit, MI. The US Multi-District Litigation panel will decide where to combine the lawsuits on Dec. 3, according to Reuters.

The DOJ argues that Detroit is a prime location because the trial would be near government labs in Ann Arbor, MI, and a VW engineering center in Auburn Hills, MI. The federal investigators also made additional arguments for the site, but the litigation panel sealed those documents, according to Reuters.

VW would like to separate the cases against it into two groups in an ideal result. The trial in Detroit would be for lawsuits from owners, which cover the vast majority of the complaints. The other legal action would combine five disputes from investors like pension funds, and VW would prefer that to happen in district court in Alexandria, VA. However, the litigation panel might not follow this suggestion.

Law firms started filing class-action suits within weeks of the Environmental Protection Agency's first violation notice against VW's diesel engines. The automaker has fought to keep those cases from going to district court in California because of the possibility of high judgments there. If judges in Michigan or Virginia hear the trials, there might also be quicker resolutions because of lower caseloads.

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