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Class Action Group Intervenes After Volkswagen Emissions Scandal

A prominent class-action critic has voiced concerns over settlements in mass tort multidistrict litigation, after more than 300 consumer lawsuits have been filed against Volkswagen A.G. over its emissions scandal.

Despite amicus briefs being very rare in proceedings before the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, Ted Frank, founder of the Center for Class Action Fairness, filed a brief arguing that all consumer class actions should be coordinated before a single judge to ensure fairness to all class members.

Speaking in his brief, Frank said:

"We're looking at this like a class action.

"There are potentially enormous windfalls if the courts don't scrutinize the fee applications closely. And historically they don't. And we're wondering if there are some really good judges that do scrutinize these things, but they somehow don't get assigned to MDLs."

In the case of Volkswagen, Frank said it is the first case in which the Center for Class Action Fairness has intervened during the MDL process.

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