Reversal of $1.6 Billion IBM Judgement Puts Judgement Preservation Insurance in the Spotlight

By Harry Moran |

The value of litigation insurance, and the natural pairing of this coverage with litigation funding, is often highlighted as one of the core strengths of the current litigation environment. However,…

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Altroconsumo Secures Impressive 50 million Euro Settlement for 60,000 Participants to Dieselgate Class Action in Italy

By Harry Moran |

Altroconsumo and VW Group have reached a ground-breaking agreement, providing over 50 million euro relief to over 60,000 Italian consumers affected by the emissions fraud scandal. Celebrating this major win for Italian consumers, Euroconsumers calls on Volkswagen to now also compensate Dieselgate victims in the other Euroconsumers countries. 

The settlement reached by Altroconsumo, arising from a Euroconsumers coordinated class action which commenced in 2015 ensures that Volkswagen will allocate over 50 million euros in compensation. Eligible participants stand to receive payments of up to 1100 euros per individual owner.

This brings an end to an eight year long legal battle that Altroconsumo together with Euroconsumers has been fiercefully fighting for Italian consumers and marks a significant milestone in seeking justice for those impacted by the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal.

We extend our massive congratulations to Altroconsumo for reaching this major settlement in favor of the Italian Dieselgate victims. Finally, they will receive the justice and compensation they deserve. This milestone underscores the importance of upholding consumer rights and the accountability of big market players when these rights are ignored, something Euroconsumers and all its national organisations will continue to do together with even more intensity under the new Representative Actions Directive” – Marco Scialdone, Head Litigation and Academic Outreach Euroconsumers

Together with Altroconsumo in Italy, Euroconsumers also initiated Dieselgate class actions against the Volkswagen-group in Belgium, Spain and Portugal. While the circumstances are shared, the outcomes have been far from consistent.

Euroconsumers was the first European consumer cluster to launch collective actions against Volkswagen to secure redress and compensation for all affected by the emissions scandal in its member countries. After 8 years of relentless pursuit, we urge the VW group to finally come through for all of them and give all of them the compensation they rightfully deserve. All Dieselgate victims are equal and should be treated with equal respect.” – Els Bruggeman, Head Policy and Enforcement Euroconsumers

Consumer protection is nothing without enforcement and so Euroconsumers and its organisations will continue to lead important class actions which benefit consumers all across the single market. 

Read the full Altroconsumo press release here.

About Euroconsumers 

Gathering five national consumer organisations and giving voice to a total of more than 1,5 million people in Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Brazil, Euroconsumers is the world’s leading consumer cluster in innovative information, personalised services and the defence of consumer rights. Our European member organisations are part of the umbrella network of BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation. Together we advocate for EU policies that benefit consumers in their daily lives.

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CAT Approves £25 Million Settlement in Boundary Fares Class Action

By Harry Moran |

As LFJ reported last month, the parties in the Stagecoach South Western Trains class action had reached a settlement agreement, with SSWT agreeing to pay up to £25 million to eligible class members who were overcharged on their rail fares by the train operator.

An article in City A.M. provides an update on the case, as the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has approved the proposed settlement. Now that it has been approved by the tribunal, class members will be able to register and submit a claim for payment in order to receive compensation from the settlement. The claim period will last for six months, from 10 July 2024 to 10 January 2025.

Within four months of the claim period ending, the class representative will then provide SSWT with the total amount to be claimed, up to the total of £25 million agreed in the settlement. SSWT will then have a period of 21 days following receipt of this information to pay the class representative the ‘notified damages sum’.

The class action was filed by Charles Lyndon, with Woodsford Group providing the funding for the litigation. 

Steven Friel, Woodsford’s CEO said: “This settlement approval confirms Woodsford as the most active and the most successful litigation funder in the CAT collective proceedings regime. Our actions have resulted in the first two, and as yet only, court-approved settlements in the regime.”The full collective settlement approval order from the CAT can be read here.

Federal Court of Australia Rules in Favour of CBA in Shareholder Class Action

By Harry Moran |

Shareholder claims have often been identified as lucrative opportunities for litigation funders, with class actions being brought on behalf of investors who allege that companies have failed in their disclosure and transparency obligations. However, as with all litigation investments, there can be no certainty of success as has been demonstrated in the judgement for two shareholder claims brought in Australia.

An article in The Australian Financial Review covers the judgement handed down in the Federal Court of Australia, where Justice Yates ruled in favour of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) in two shareholder class actions brought against the bank. The judgement covered the Zonia Holdings Pty Ltd v Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Philip Anthony Baron and Joanne Baron v Commonwealth Bank of Australia cases.

The class actions had been brought over allegations that CBA had failed in its disclosure obligations to shareholders over breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations. In the summary of his judgement released today, Justice Yates concluded that information around these breaches were not “likely to, influence persons who commonly invest in securities in deciding whether to acquire or dispose of CBA shares”.

The summary of Justice Yates’ judgement can be read here, with the full judgement scheduled to be released on 15 May.

Omni Bridgeway, which provided funding for the class action through its Funds 2&3, released an announcement following the judgement and said that “the applicant’s legal team is reviewing the Judgment and assessing the prospects of an appeal.” The funder went on to provide some insight into the financials behind its investment in the case, explaining that “Funds 2&3 invested A$9.6 million in the CBA investment and sold a 20% interest for A$7.5 million in June 2022.” Omni Bridgeway stated that “there is no cash impact from any adverse costs arising from the judgement”, due to its portfolio adverse costs insurance policy.The full Omni Bridgeway announcement can be read here.