Marylanders file suit against Volkswagen

The scandal wiped out a third of the German carmaker's the stock price.

A Maryland woman has filed a class action complaint against Volkswagen over emissions-cheating software the company has admitted to installing in roughly 11 million cars worldwide.

Her suit joins dozens of others filed by Volkswagen customers outraged over the Environmental Protection Agency's revelation Sept. 18 that the company had deliberately designed cars to defeat emissions tests, while marketing its "Clean Diesel" technology to customers.


The complaint, brought by Nottingham resident Nicole M. Barnard on behalf of herself and other Volkswagen customers, says she paid a premium for "Clean Diesel" technology when she purchased her 2015 Jetta in May.

The suit, filed in federal court, alleges the German automaker violated the state's Consumer Protection Act and committed fraud, among other claims, leading to damages that include diminished value of the car and damaged resale and trade-in prospects.

A spokesman for Volkswagen declined to comment. The scandal has rocked the German manufacturing giant, already leading to the resignation of its CEO. On Thursday, the company's U.S. head apologized at a congressional hearing and said the firm intended to fix, not repurchase, the nearly half million cars affected in the U.S.

Barnard's suit is the third filed in Maryland against Volkswagen since the EPA's disclosure of the problem, according to federal court records.

A large number of individually filed suits may help persuade judges to allow the suits to move forward as class actions, said Ryan Perlin, an attorney for Salsbury, Clements, Bekman, Marder & Adkins, which brought Barnard's suit.

The Baltimore law firm is also involved in litigation against the Johns Hopkins University and others for their roles in 1940s government experiments in Guatemala that infected hundreds with syphilis, gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases.