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August 5, 2016

WSJ Says Volkswagen Being ‘Looted’, America’s Tort System at Risk

A federal judge may have approved a $14.7 billion civil settlement by Volkswagen over emissions scandal allegations, but the Wall Street Journal editorial board writes that “the fun for lawyers is only beginning, because this gigantic settlement doesn’t even cover all the relevant cars, nor all of the pending claims.”

A number of additional penalties will be assessed by state and federal officials. In addition, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s spokesperson said his office will seek “hundreds of millions of dollars more” from Volkswagen through a pending lawsuit.

“As with BP after its Gulf oil spill, companies that make a mistake in America can now expect to be looted far beyond the compensatory damages of making victims whole,” writes the editorial board. “The political class uses the opportunity to soak the business for many more billions to serve their political ends. If this keeps up, America’s tort system will be as much a political risk as arbitrary law enforcement in China.”

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