Mayo law firm is first to have its VW action case heard

A Mayo law firm representing more than 300 claimants has become the first in Europe to have a case relating to the Volkswagen emissions scandal heard in court.

O’Dwyer Solicitors of Ballyhaunis was last month granted the first court order for discovery of documents by Judge Mary Devins in Castlebar District Court.

The order directed the German carmaker to provide technical and expert information to the solicitors within six weeks, in relation to the global emissions scandal that rocked the company last year.

In September 2015, the firm admitted fitting software to 11m cars which disguised the true extent of the harmful nitrogen oxide emissions produced.

The company’s internal investigation into that admission uncovered another problem two months later with carbon dioxide testing in 800,000 cars, with 9,000 Irish owners of Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat, and Audi estimated to be affected.

The order represents a significant step forward in European drivers’ efforts to land a compensation deal similar to the €13.9bn settlement agreed in the US.

A Volkswagen spokesperson yesterday confirmed “there is no compensation for European customers”.

The order was granted to Evan O’Dwyer representing Eithne Higgins, a nurse from Boyle, Co Roscommon.

O’Dwyer Solicitors has struck a deal with Hausfeld Lawyers, a firm which represented Volkswagen owners in the US, to share information and co-ordinate their respective efforts on behalf of clients.

Business: 14


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