Attorney Steve Barnes has partnered with Virginia attorney Michael J. Melkersen to pursue litigation against Volkswagen in the Virginia courts to hold them accountable for their emission fraud and deceit. Attorney Melkersen is the first and only lawyer, nationwide, to have obtained a settlement against Volkswagen outside of the Class Action. Virginia is a very favorable jurisdiction in which to litigate claims against Volkswagen both because of its favorable laws permitting punitive damages up to $350,000 per claim and because Volkswagen is headquartered in Virginia, thereby preventing Volkswagen from maneuvering your case back into federal court and allowing you to avoid the attendant delay that would bring. Attorneys Barnes and Melkersen are leading the fight against Volkswagen, particularly in the litigation involving 3.0 liter TDI vehicles, insofar as we represent the plaintiffs in the first two cases scheduled for trial, nationwide, regarding 3.0 liter TDI vehicles. Furthermore, attorneys Barnes and Melkersen have been creatively seeking remedies on behalf of our clients that many other attorneys have overlooked, including claims for compensation (called criminal restitution) in the context of the Volkswagen AG criminal proceedings in Detroit, Michigan. These aggressive tactics employed by attorneys Barnes and Melkersen, as well as other tactics not yet made public, has caused Volkswagen to already reach out to attorneys Barnes and Melkersen to discuss the possibility of settling our clients’ cases.
We believe that the key to success in these cases is to apply maximum pressure to Volkswagen to force it into paying what is fair to each of our clients. That pressure is being applied by attorneys Barnes and Melkersen in a variety of ways. To give just a few examples:
- On March 22, 2017, we were involved in the taking of a corporate representative deposition of Volkswagen, aggressively questioning him regarding the at-issue fraud;
- On April 28, 2017, we are taking the deposition of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who Volkswagen used to promote its “Clean Diesel” cars to prey on environmentally conscious consumers;
- On April 20, 2017, we are taking the deposition of Alberto Ayala of the California Air Resources Board, who we expect to describe in detail the efforts by Volkswagen to deceive legal regulators in an effort to avoid getting caught for its fraud;
- We also have noticed the depositions of other Volkswagen employees that were involved in the fraud including Dale Harris, Matthias Barke, Mark Gillies, Leonard Kata, Scott Keogh and Stuart Johnson;
- We have forced Volkswagen to produce more than 2.5 million documents, many of which are in German, which we are actively reviewing in preparation for trial; and
- Together with our other attorney partners, we have assembled a team of experts to support our clients’ claims, including the West Virginia University engineers that discovered Volkswagen’s fraud.
Attorneys Barnes and Melkersen invite you to join with us in our fight against Volkswagen. Time is of the essence, with the 3.0 liter opt-out date rapidly approaching on April 14, 2017, so please do not delay. To get started or for more information, simply submit an intake form and a member of our staff will reach out to you immediately.