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The Journal Gazette

September 22, 2016 1:01 AM

German court readies for influx of suits against VW

DAVID McHUGH | Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany – A German court says it has added staff and storage space to handle a flood of 1,400 investor lawsuits against Volkswagen seeking damages worth $9.2 billion.

The regional court in Braunschweig said Wednesday that 750 lawsuits arrived on Monday alone from a single law office as a possible one-year deadline to file approached. The court said the Volkswagen investor lawsuits equaled about half of its normal intake for a year.

Investors claim Volkswagen did not disclose in a timely way that it faced costly action from U.S. regulators over cars with software that enabled them to cheat on diesel emissions tests.

They say the information could have enabled them to decide whether to sell their shares, which fell sharply after the U.S Environmental Protection Agency announced the case on Sept. 18, 2015.

Volkswagen said the company “remains of the opinion that it duly fulfilled its disclosure obligations under capital markets law. This view has also been confirmed by a careful examination by internal and external legal experts.”

Lawyers have said the courts may eventually find that investors had one year to file suit after the EPA announcement; the anniversary fell on a Sunday, leaving Monday as the possible deadline and leading some plaintiffs to file in order to be on the safe side.