SAN FRANCISCO – Volkswagen has submitted a motion to dismiss four of the 10 appeals against it relating to the 2.0-liter Consumer Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release.
Ten members of the class action settlement are pursuing appeals as a result of the settlement’s failure to reimburse class members who had retained attorneys prior to the class certification. Volkswagen has filed a motion to dismiss against four of those appellants, however, arguing that they have all completed and accepted their settlement offers already. Part of this process, according to the motion, is signing a release.
Volkswagen argues in its motion, filed Aug. 8, that “by signing the individual releases, these appellants released all claims that were resolved by the class action agreement, or otherwise arose from or in any way relate to the subject matter of the underlying actions. Because these individual releases remain effective even if the class action agreement is vacated, reversed, or in any way modified on appeal, the releasing appellants can seek no further remedy from Volkswagen or the other released parties, and would not be able to participate even in the modified versions of the settlement that they seek through their appeals.”
In response, one such appellant, Daniel Ancona, argues he does, in fact, have standing in the appeal. In his objection to the motion to dismiss, filed Aug. 18, Ancona argues the release does not negate his right to object to a class settlement. Rather, he argues, the language of the release simply prevents him from pursuing further separate claims against Volkswagen for the 2.0-liter TDI Matter.
Furthermore, reads Ancona’s objection, “the fact that Ancona participated in the class settlement by executing an individual release, as he was required to do to participate in the class settlement, does not change the fact that he presently has an injury that can be redressed on appeal, and that a live controversy still exists.”
The Volkswagen 2.0-liter TDI settlement is one of the largest class action settlements ever. Within the first eight months after the settlement was reached, Volkswagen has paid more than $6 billion to almost 500,000 Class members.