A California federal judge has rejected the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) request to force Volkswagen AG to provide further testimony as part of an investigation into claims that Volkswagen intentionally destroyed documents shortly before and immediately after its diesel emissions cheating made international headlines. U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline S. Corley issued an order denying as moot the FTC’s November request for the court to compel Volkswagen to provide another half-day of testimony on a variety of topics, including the company’s decision to fire whistleblower Dan Donovan, who worked in the general counsel’s office and whose duties involved preserving documents related to the litigation arising out of the diesel emissions-cheating scandal.
Judge Corley said the FTC’s deceptive marketing and other claims against Volkswagen have already been fully resolved in this litigation by the multibillion-dollar settlements that Volkswagen made with the FTC covering its 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter “clean diesel” vehicles. The settlements were approved by the court in October and May. The FTC had sought the proposed additional discovery, saying it’s “proportional to the needs of this case,” which involves billions of dollars in consumer harm and corporate wrongdoing of historic proportions.
The MDL is In re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, (case number 3:15-md-02672) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.