Hagens Berman’s Automotive Attorneys Named 2018 Practice Group of the Year by Law360

01/15/2019

SEATTLE – Hagens Berman’s attorneys representing car owners in cases related to auto defects, emissions-cheating and safety recalls have been named to the 2018 Practice Group of the Year honorees in the automotive category by Law360 based on the significance, size and complexity of the firm's work for consumers.

Law360’s listing comprised of practice groups that worked on the biggest deals or achieved the biggest wins in the most important cases and covered a range of more than 40 different areas.

The victory marks the second year Hagens Berman’s automotive practice group has received the recognition for its "eye toward landmark matters and general excellence," in this area of law.

“Hagens Berman has been on the forefront of this highly specialized and increasingly competitive realm of law, and our legal team’s steadfast and intensive investigative skills allow us to move quickly in our pursuit of car manufacturers that have violated regulations and consumer confidence,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and lead attorney of the firm’s auto practice team.

“We’re honored to have been selected among those firms raising the bar.”

In the past year, the firm’s automotive team racked up wins in many of its pending cases.

In Fenner et al v. General Motors LLC et al, Hagens Berman represents a proposed class of at least 705,000 owners of 2011-2016 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks against General Motors and Bosch for their alleged design of an emissions-cheating system and sale of vehicles with that system installed, leaving owners unknowingly purchasing and driving illegally polluting vehicles.

In June of 2018, the court granted preliminary approval of a settlement in a class-action lawsuit against Tesla regarding it Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features, which Tesla was late in delivering as promised. Owners complained that the Enhanced Autopilot suite is still not complete and that some of its components are unsafe.

In February of 2018, U.S. District Judge Thomas Ludington issued a 76-page order denying GM and Bosch’s two motions to dismiss the lawsuit upholding claims against the two defendants under state consumer laws as well as RICO fraud claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, stating, “Plaintiffs have identified a number of predicate acts of mail or wire fraud with sufficient specificity to avoid dismissal.”

The firm also saw major victories in its still active cases against Volkswagen and Bosch involving the Dieselgate emissions-cheating scandal, both on behalf of car owners and dealership owners. In October of 2017, Federal Judge Charles Breyer denied a motion to dismiss from Robert Bosch GmbH, and upheld RICO claims against Bosch, in the Dieselgate class-action lawsuit filed by hundreds of Volkswagen franchise dealerships, alleging that Bosch played a leading role in the emissions-cheating scandal that blindsided dealers and cost them millions.

In October of 2018, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer also issued an order allowing the RICO and state law claims of consumers who sold their affected vehicles prior to the disclosure of the fraud to continue. In his order, Breyer stated that the claims on behalf of prior owners were based on a “novel twist” and that plaintiffs “plausibly alleged that Bosch partnered with Volkswagen to implement the defeat device in the affected vehicles, and by doing so participated in the conduct of a years-long enterprise to defraud U.S. regulators and consumers.” The order upholds the claims of tens of thousands of prior owners of affected diesel vehicles that Bosch and Volkswagen participated in a conspiracy to create and implement an emissions cheating defeat device in nearly 600,000 cars sold in the United States. Judge Breyer’s latest order was a resounding rejection of Volkswagen and Bosch’s attempt to unjustly escape compensating tens of thousands of former owners of VW and Audi cars for the harm caused by purposefully cheating on emissions.

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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with 10 offices across the country. The firm’s tenacious drive for plaintiffs’ rights has earned it numerous national accolades, awards and titles of “Most Feared Plaintiff’s Firm,” and MVPs and Trailblazers of class-action law. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.

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