Contrary to the almost unanimous public opinion, claims for damages for owners of the brands VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda with diesel engines of type EA 189 with nieces are already statute-barred at the end of December 31, 2019. Rather, these can still be implemented successfully in 2020. This is now also shown by a current judgment of the Bamberg Regional Court of November 3rd, 2020, 42 O 157/20, which was won by the Nuremberg lawyers.
The subject of the dispute in the proceedings before the LG Bamberg was the “notorious” EA189 engine, for which the Federal Court of Justice has determined VW’s liability. The lawsuit against VW was initiated after the law firm Dr. Hoffmann & Partner submitted in 2020, although there were no previous limitation measures. In particular, the plaintiff had not participated in the VW model declaratory action before the OLG Braunschweig. “Therefore, VW raised the objection to the statute of limitations. Here, as in all claims for damages, VW referred to a” notification of the VW emissions scandal “in September 2015, so that the claims due to the three-year limitation period were allegedly statute-barred at the end of 2018.
The law firm also represented Dr. Hoffmann & Partner Rechtsanwälte, on the other hand, decidedly took the view that the reports from the VW Group at the end of 2015 about “irregularities” in type EA 189 diesel engines were not suitable for triggering the statute of limitations. This has already been confirmed in two proceedings conducted by Nuremberg lawyers before the LG Nürnberg-Fürth. In its judgments of November 27, 2019, Ref .: 9 O 3056/19 and November 28, 2019, Ref .: 9 O 4197/19, the regional court ruled that claims for damages against Volkswagen AG are not time barred.
In its current decision of November 3rd, 2020, 42 O 157/20, the LG Bamberg now clearly stated that VW’s objection to the statute of limitations is ineffective, although the lawsuit had only been filed in 2020. Volkswagen AG was therefore once again sentenced to complete reversal. “The regional court thus fully complies with our legal opinion. The decision is groundbreaking. As far as we know, there have so far only been a few decisions in the entire federal territory that explicitly state that claims for damages are not in principle statute-barred by the end of 2019,” Hoffmann.
In principle, the three-year limitation period (§ 195 BGB) applies, which, in accordance with § 199 Paragraph 1 No. 2 BGB, begins to run from the knowledge or grossly negligent ignorance of the buyer of the circumstances giving rise to the claim. In this respect, the burden of presentation and proof lies with Volkswagen AG. According to this, VW would have to present the reasons why those affected should have known that their vehicle was equipped with an impermissible defeat device. According to the correct view of the LG Bamberg, VW did not succeed in doing this. The court also denies grossly negligent ignorance on the part of the plaintiff there, after the plaintiff was still unable to assess with certainty in 2016 whether his vehicle was affected by the switchover logic at all or whether and to what extent this resulted in claims on his part.
The then chairman of the board, Martin Winterkorn, did indeed admit “irregularities” in diesel engines; In the opinion of the Nuremberg lawyers, however, it is certainly not easy to infer from this that buyers had to impose facts on themselves at the times claimed by VW that justify intentional immoral damage within the meaning of § 826 BGB. “VW should seriously ask itself why a customer should have had knowledge or grossly negligent ignorance of the involvement of the board of directors in the exhaust gas manipulation, whereas the group denies the knowledge of board members in all pending civil proceedings to this day,” says lawyer Göpfert . Incidentally, the LG Hildesheim also saw this in its judgment of 9 October 2020, 4 O 300/19, and also awarded the plaintiff there a non-statute-barred claim for damages against Volkswagen AG.
It is therefore evident that those affected by the VW scandal who have not yet taken any judicial measures should not hesitate to enforce their claims. Those affected have to hurry so as not to end up empty-handed. For owners of the VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands with EA 189 diesel engines, December 31, 2020 is an important deadline. Because already at the end of the year, claims for damages according to § 826 BGB against VW in connection with the diesel scandal threaten to expire.
Dr. Hoffmann & Partner Attorneys at Law
Lawyer Dr. Marcus Hoffmann
Tel:+49 (0) 911 567 94 00
Fax:+49 (0) 911 657 94 01
Email: [email protected]
Original content by: Dr. Hoffmann & Partner Rechtsanwälte, transmitted by news aktuell
Original message: https://www.presseportal.de/pm/133537/4761617