Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has obtained a court order to serve the County’s lawsuit against Volkswagen on its parent companies in Germany.
Ryan sued Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., in September 2015, accusing the company of fraudulently manipulating emission controls in their vehicles, thus allowing them to spew dangerous chemicals into the county’s air. Ryan estimates that civil penalties could be in excess of $100 million for the thousands of diesel Volkswagens sold in Texas.
“The heart and mind of the conspiracy to pollute the air and lie about it came from the VW parent corporations in Germany,” Harris County Attorney Ryan explained. “They must be held accountable in a Texas court.”
The court order directs Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and Audi Aktiengesellschaft to be served with the lawsuit by APS International, Ltd., a firm hired by the County Attorney. The service would be in accordance with international law, known as the Hague Convention.
A hearing is scheduled on April 1, 2016, before Judge Tim Sulak, 133rd District Court in Travis County. State Judge Tim Sulak was named last month by the Texas Supreme Court to be in charge of multi-district litigation for the scores of government and consumer suits filed against Volkswagen connected to the admitted falsification of contaminate emission data from VW’s diesel cars.