Armstrong Economics Blog/Germany
Re-Posted Sep 5, 2017 by Martin Armstrong
A Federal Judge Breyer ruled against Wyoming and in favor of Volkswagen (VW) dismissing the claim that because of VW’s manipulation of diesel emissions, they caused environmental damage and should pay damages to the State in addition to individual car owners. Judge Breyer stated that despite the fact that VW was indeed responsible for manipulation. However, since these were carried out during the production of the diesel cars, the Congress had decided that the EPA, rather than the individual federal states, was in the best position to deal with damage regulations.
VW had agreed with Wyoming and most other states in the controversy about claims from buyers. What this suit was focused on getting fines in the billions of dollars from the company based upon alleged environmental damage. This was clearly a political decision because if Wyoming was allowed to proceed, every state and local country would jump on the free lunch and claim they too are entitle to damages that could never be proven since the air is not stagnant over any single State or county.
VW had already agreed to pay $2.9 billion as punishment for the increased pollution caused by its diesel cars. The company had committed $25 billion to meet claims from buyers, dealers, environmental authorities and federal states. In addition, the company has offered to repurchase half a million diesel vehicles. If every single jurisdiction then sued VW, they company would go into bankruptcy.