Saturday 25 November 2017

Volkswagen claims judge mishandled court case on emissions

Volkswagen says that Dublin District Court is the appropriate venue for cases to be heard. Stock picture
Volkswagen says that Dublin District Court is the appropriate venue for cases to be heard. Stock picture

Tim Healy

The High Court has been asked to decide whether a woman's case arising from the Volkswagen emissions scandal can continue to be heard at Castlebar District Court.

Volkswagen insists it is not seeking to stop Eithne Higgins litigating - but that Dublin District Court is the appropriate venue for hers and other cases here initiated against the firm.

It arises from the installation of so-called cheat devices designed to mislead US emissions tests.

If the High Court rules Ms Higgins's case can continue in Castlebar, the firm says it should not continue to be heard by Judge Mary Devins because, it claims, her handling of the case to date has breached the firm's right to fair procedures.

Ms Higgins, a nurse, of Boyle, Co Roscommon, claims a 2010 Seat Leon purchased second-hand by her is among the estimated 11 million cars worldwide affected.

Last year, the case came before Judge Devins to address discovery and other issues. She was told that under legal advice Stephen McDonnell, head of Volkswagen technical services, would not be in court despite a suggestion by the judge he attend.

Volkswagen's lawyers walked out of court after Judge Devins said she would proceed to hear the discovery matter.

The lawyers indicated they intended to seek a High Court judicial review over jurisdiction.

Volkswagen Group Ireland and Volkswagen AG then went to the High Court which, on September 15, granted leave for judicial review and also stayed the case in Castlebar pending the outcome of that review.

The hearing continues.

Irish Independent

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