VW Class Action: Lawyers Using Social Media

In the social age the way people interact on an interpersonal level has changed dramatically, and we’ve seen how businesses have begun taking on the social space also. A new trend which has emerged recently in the social space is the use of social media to promote class action lawsuits.

Social media is in many ways the perfect vehicle for a lawyer to promote a class action lawsuit as they’re gathering the maximum number of plaintiffs possible, and a social dragnet definitely helps in this regard, an added bonus is that these potential plaintiffs are then using word of mouth to further promote the lawyers efforts in finding candidates who want to register as a part of the class action.

This phenomenon has exploded with the advent of the Volkswagen emission scandals, where we have the potential to see one of the biggest class action lawsuits in history take place worldwide against a major automotive manufacturer.

Tech Blog

This is a run down of the key information provided by a tech blogging site regarding one aspect of the issue.

Volkswagen’s Gift Cards Are Actually A Scheme To Identify Owners Of Bad Diesels, Reckons Audi.

Officially the gift cards scheme helps to identify owners as responses to recalls are often very low even when there’s a safety issue. Volkswagen seems to be playing the good guy card here as they claim maybe only 50% of people respond and most won’t answer their phones in the case of recalls. However it’s believed that VW customers will not be able to participate in future class action lawsuits if they take the gift cards or dealer credit…

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/108142/20151119/volkswagens-gift-cards-are-actually-a-scheme-to-identify-owners-of-bad-diesels-reckons-audi.htm

Twitter

Twitter can be considered as sitting at the epicenter of most things scandalous, so it was no surprise we quickly found a link to a story with the following brief.

Sutts, Strosberg LLP is a Canadian law firm based out of Windsor, Ontario, which has launched a $1B class action suit against Volkswagen. Seeking 1 billion in damages and additional $100 million in punitive damages. They assert there was a conspiracy among a handful of VW employees to fix emission test results, which Volkswagen have all but admitted to. Any Canadian with a Volkswagen manufactured before September 2015 can add their name to the class action suit according to the article.

https://twitter.com/CBCWindsor

Traditional Websites

In terms of traditional websites we have noticed that the official VW Australia class action suit is being operated by law firm Bannister Law. With 91,000 affected VW vehicles on Australian roads the potential for a class action lawsuit on Aussie shores is massive! The Volkswagen recall Australia has been running out is going to head into some choppy waters as the VW class action lawsuit being brought about by Bannister Law is sure to make the folks at Volkswagen more than a little light headed.

PR Wire Type Services

How about PR wire type services, have they thrown their hats into the mix alongside websites, blogs and twitter? You bet they have!

Businesswire, which proudly reminds you it’s a Berkshire Hathaway company on its homepage, is reporting that Kendall Law Group, founded by ex federal judge Joe Kendall has announced a federal securities fraud class action lawsuit on behalf of an institutional investor against Volkswagen America for violation of federal security laws. The plaintiff is bringing this action against Volkswagen on behalf of all persons or entities who bought shares in Volkswagen AG between November 19, 2010 and September 21, 2015.

Interestingly Businesswire has a neat little function on it’s page, a tweet this button which will tweet out to the world “U.S. Orders Major VW Recall Over Emissions Test Trickery.” on your behalf.

It would be interesting to know if Berkshire Hathaway owns any part of Volkswagen or a competing automotive group, has Warren Buffet’s company unleashed the Twitter birds of war?

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151117006697/en/Kendall-Law-Group-Files-Class-Action-Lawsuit

Online News Sites

Online news sites are raising questions by class-action attorneys about whether Volkswagen car owners could void their legal rights if they accept VW’s offer of two $500 gift cards supposedly offered as a gesture of goodwill.

In fact, legal teams leading class-action lawsuits against the German company are supposedly handling the offer with a level of caution usually reserved for a stick of dynamite.

This is because in order to receive the gift cards on offer — one for $500 to be spent on anything and the other for $500 redeemable at any VW dealership  — customers have to sign a waiver to remove their right to a trial by jury.

There is some pretty interesting fine print on the gift card agreement which we think is worth a look, and would be interested to see if a similar situation is occurring in other countries.

“In the event of any dispute or claim relating in any way to to this agreement, customer agrees that such dispute shall be resolved by binding arbitration with the American Arbitration Association, utilizing the rules and procedure of such arbitration service, further, any such arbitration shall take place in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the laws of the State of South Dakota shall apply.”

Read more here…

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/11/12/class-action-attorney-volkswagen/75635612/

As always we’d love to hear your thoughts on how social and online media is shaping the world, so feel free to send us an email any time for advice on running a social media campaign or to register your business for a workshop.