Progress

7 Apr 2020 – The DEJF releases a statement in response to the England and Wales High Court Decision on VW. Read the press statement.

16 Mar 2020 – Dutch Financieel Dagblad (FD) publishes article on start of litigation of DEJF against Volkswagen AG in The Netherlands, stating: “The German car giant has been summoned before Amsterdam Court by a Dutch foundation (DEJF) that claims to represent millions of European buyers of affected vehicles. Through the Dutch court, the organization wants to claim billions in damages.” To read the full press release issued by the DEJF, click here.

13 Mar 2020 – DEJF summons Volkswagen et al to appear before Amsterdam District Court under new WAMCA proceedings. DEJF requests to be appointed as the Exclusive Representative Organisation (“Lead Plaintiff”). You can read a summary of the writ in Engish here. The full Dutch text is available here.

4 Mar 2020 – DEJF releases statement in response to VW deal in Germany, applauding resolution achieved by consumer organization VZBV. However, DEJF highlights that VW is only offering compensation for German residents, while the remaining 96% of duped car owners throughout Europe are left out. DEJF encourages VW to work with them to reach an acceptable solution for all affected customers. Read the statement here.

23 Jan 2020 – DEJF sends formal letter to VW informing them of the initiative and demanding compensation for impacted car owners and lessees. Letter encourages VW to enter into a constructive dialogue with DEJF to reach a solution for its constituents or face litigation across Europe.

13 Jan 2020 – 70% of Belgians today doubt the credibility of Volkswagen when buying their future vehicle. While the German manufacturer has already compensated the victims of Dieselgate in the United States, Canada and Australia for several billion euros, the car giant has yet to face its responsibilities in Europe. Read the article here.

26 Nov 2019 – DEJF expands its activity to include Belgium and announces that Geert Lenssens from SQ and Laurent Arnauts from Watt Legal will represent the Stichting Diesel Emissions Justice (DEJF) in Belgium. Read the press release.

19 Sept 2019 – DEJF launches in the Netherlands and begins to register potential claimants. Read the press release.

29 Aug 2019 – Corpocon, the first EU firm to start legal mass claims against Volkswagen concerning Dieselgate, joins Stichting Diesel Emissions Justice (DEJF). Having signed its first clients in 2015, Corpocon CEO, Orlando Kadir, said: 

“I believe the experienced Board, impressive Supervisory Board and committed budgets available to Stichting Diesel Emissions Justice will allow it to litigate effectively against Volkswagen and achieve a justified compensation for the 8.5 million duped European Volkswagen Group car owners. For this reason, Corpocon is pleased to bring its thousands of claimants and join forces with Stichting Diesel Emissions Justice, confident we will accomplish far more together and ultimately hold Volkswagen accountable for its actions.”

23 Aug 2019 – The Dutch organisation, Milieudefensie, supports Stichting Diesel Emissions Justice’s actions against Volkswagen AG: 

“With Dieselgate, Volkswagen damaged our health and our environment. Both now and in the future, people will die from air pollution, caused by Volkswagen’s fraud, because these cars are still being driven around. The current political and legal system has not sufficiently protected people from the economic interests of profit-driven industry. That is why Friends of the Earth (NL) supports the legal action of the Diesel Emissions Justice Foundation. Friends of the Earth welcomes the set-up of a Fund that is designated to improve the environment and make traffic more sustainable. This would be fair and desperately needed after the damage caused by the industry…” 

3 July 2019 – After years of preparation, Diesel Emissions Justice Stichting is established under Dutch law. This non-profit foundation is a necessary step in order to formally bring collective tort proceedings against Volkswagen and seek to obtain fair and adequate damages for consumers across the continent of Europe including Belgium.

The way forward

The foundation’s strategy consists of the following: 

The foundation will act as the centrepoint of European efforts in the Volkswagen matter. It will instruct all counsel in various European countries including Belgium, as well for the Dutch speaking victims as the French speaking victims in Flanders, la Wallonie and Brussels. 

Following its launch on 19 September 2019, the foundation will follow a track of enhanced book building of unprecedented scale, aiming at a considerable book which may include large fleet owners.

The foundation will notify Volkswagen of its intentions and, meanwhile, roll out its litigation strategy. 

The foundation is envisaged to start or to continue pilot- and/or collective proceedings in which the foundation represents the participating victims in Belgium. Details of these legal actions will be communicated later.  For this reason, the participation contains a power of attorney giving the foundation the power to pursue litigation on behalf of individual claimants. 

As for now, the foundation wants to make sure that the required groundwork is being laid out, to the extent practicable and that specific statutes of limitations in Belgium do not expire.

In addition, the foundation may broaden its actions to include other sorts of damage, including environmental damage. 

Although the foundation prefers to settle the matter, it is prepared to pursue litigation in several jurisdictions at the same time. It will have the available funds at its disposal and retained the relevant expertise for doing so.

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