Posted: Nov 27, 2015 3:23 PM PSTUpdated: Nov 27, 2015 3:43 PM PST
Smith County is in the process of filing a civil lawsuit against automaker Volkswagen after the company admitted that nearly one million of its cars had cheated U.S. emission standards.
County Judge Joel Baker confirmed the lawsuit with KLTV 7 on Friday afternoon.
“Air quality has been an issue for us here as long as I’ve been in office,” Baker said. “This lawsuit will protect the county’s interest.”
In September, Volkswagen admitted to installing software on millions of cars globally that turns on pollution controls during government tests and shuts them off on the road, according to the Associated Press. The company would later reveal that it found other problems with emissions as the scandal spread to gasoline engines.
Smith County has hired Potter Minton, a Tyler-based firm, to represent the county in the lawsuit. In a letter sent to KLTV 7 by Smith County, Potter Minton indicated that other Texas counties, as well as the State of Texas itself, had filed similar lawsuits against Volkswagen.
But in the letter, Potter Minton attorney Allen F. Gardner tells Judge Baker, “our preliminary research indicates that local government entities that file suit themselves share any recovery equally with the State, but those who choose to allow the State to pursue the claims alone will not share in any recovery.”
The State of Texas has already filed suit against Volkswagen. Harris County has also filed suit against the automaker. Attorney General Ken Paxton asked Harris County to drop their suit since the State is suing the automaker, but Harris County has kept their lawsuit active, according to the Texas Tribune.
Baker tells KLTV 7 that Smith County, based on its research, believes Volkswagen has clear liability in the case.
Smith County now must send its agreement with Potter Minton to the Texas State Comptroller’s Office for approval, but Baker tells KLTV 7 that it’s unclear how long that approval will take.
Full Article – http://www.ksla.com/story/30618075/smith-county-plans-to-sue-volkswagen-over-faulty-emissions
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