In the wake of the VW scandal concerning manipulated emissions test data and the collapse in the price of VW shares, the law firm GRP Rainer is preparing damages claims for shareholders of Volkswagen AG (Aktiengesellschaft – German stock corporation).
GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London - www.grprainer.com/en conclude: When it came to light that VW had manipulated emissions test data in diesel vehicles, VW shares began to plummet. This has resulted in shareholders incurring significant losses. The law firm GRP Rainer is therefore preparing claims for damages for its clients. These could include class action lawsuits in the form of model case proceedings pursuant to the German Kapitalanleger-Musterverfahrensgesetz (Capital Markets Model Case Act), or KapMuG proceedings for short.
After the VW Group became aware of the investigations in the US into potentially manipulated emissions data, it should have fulfilled its obligation to inform by releasing an ad-hoc statement. This obviously did not occur, with the result that VW may have breached its obligation to inform pursuant to the German Wertpapierhandelsgesetz (WpHG) [Securities Trading Act] and thereby rendered itself liable to pay damages. According to sec. 15 WpHG, an issuer must immediately publish inside information that directly concerns it. The aim is to ensure that all investors, and not merely insiders, have the chance to take appropriate action in light of this information, given that it can have a major impact on the share price. In the case of the manipulated emissions data, there can be said to have been an enormous impact on the stock market price.
As far as claims for damages are concerned, the question increasingly taking centre stage is at what point in time did Volkswagen AG become aware that manipulating software was being used in type EA 189 diesel engines and ought to have disclosed this. According to media reports, VW engineers are said to have revealed that the software in question had been installed as early as 2008.
Shareholders that have been affected by this and wish to assert damages claims can band together. It is possible in Germany to make an application to establish model case proceedings pursuant to the so-called Kapitalanleger-Musterverfahrensgesetz (KapMuG), which are comparable to class action lawsuits in the US. The advantage of this kind of model case proceedings is that it is not necessary for each investor to file a lawsuit as their interests are bundled together. In a single set of proceedings, a binding decision is reached that covers all of the participating investors. To this end, VW shareholders can turn to lawyers who are competent in the fields of banking law and capital markets law.
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