Volkswagen is being sued on two continents over issues related to its ongoing diesel scandal.
Nearly 300 institutional investors filed a $3.6 billion in a German court, alleging the automaker breached its “capital markets duty,” according to Reuters, between June 2008 and September 2015.
A former VW employee in Michigan filed suit alleging the German automaker fired him because he refused to delete documents, which violated a hold order from the Justice Department, and reported the deletion to a supervisor.
Daniel Donovan is suing under the state’s whistleblower protections, claiming the company wrongfully fired him Dec. 6, 2015. He alleges the automaker continued deleting documents for three days after it was ordered to stop.
Employed as a “technology employee” at the automaker’s general counsel’s office, he was responsible for “electronic information management in injury and product liability cases,” according to the Detroit News.
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In the suit, he claims he was terminated because he refused “to participate in a course of action that would spoilate evidence and obstruct justice.”
VW denies his claims, adding his firing was completely unrelated to the diesel emissions issue and that his suit is “without merit.” Dononvan filed his suit in Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac, Michigan, and in it claims his dismissal violates the state’s Whistleblower Act.
The suit is Germany is growing quickly as the law firm that filed it, TISAB, filed a motion for models claims, which is essentially asking for it to become a like a class-action suit.
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Germany doesn’t have a class-action apparatus in its legal system, but it does allow court rulings won by individuals to be used as a template or guideline to set damages incurred by others that are “equally affected,” Reuters reported.
“Due to the fact that — according to our information and experience — Volkswagen AG persistently denies any settlement negotiations and also refuses to waive the statute of limitation defense until now, it was necessary to file this first multi-billion euro lawsuit,” lawyer Andreas Tilp said in a statement.
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Volkswagen officials declined to comment on the suit, saying they had not seen it. In addition to the lawsuits, VW is facing more than $20 million in fines from the Justice Department related to its investigations.