Will the Volkswagen class action change the way the UK handles Group Litigation Order cases? We have never had a class action of this kind of scale and nature in the UK before, and whilst our American cousins are used to dealing with class actions involving millions of people, the UK, typically, is not.
The UK Volkswagen compensation case could include more than 2 million potential claimants. That is monumental in any scope of class actions here in the UK, and this action may set some important precedents for the future.
In some ways, we hope this may be a catalyst for change.
We think that there is the need for important changes to take place when it comes to the way we handle Group Litigation Order (GLO) cases here in the UK; generally known as class action lawsuits. Taking the Volkswagen emissions scandal case as the primary example, the US has already seen huge settlements as a result of the rapid way they can get cases to court. It all saves time and costs for all parties, which is important to ensure the focus is on justice and not delaying or dragging matters out. It also means quick compensation for the victims, which is important.
It’s quite common for a Defendant to delay the compromise to the case for years – and we’re talking five or more years in some cases. We have seen this for a number of class actions we have been / are involved in, and the Volkswagen emissions action is still in its infancy with VW still denying liability.
How long will the VW case go on for?
We have an opt-in system for most class actions here in the UK, meaning victims must literally “opt-in” to obtain an award. In America, most are “opt-out” meaning a settlement is sorted first and then people can either accept it or refuse it.
Far smarter and far quicker in our view, and this method can see resolutions within a year or two, like we had with VW cases in the US.
Perhaps the scale and size of the VW action will make British lawmakers reconsider the current state of Play. How this action pans out, and how – and when – it concludes may be a catalyst for change, and if it isn’t, it should be.
IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.
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