Stranch is one of 22 attorneys on the committee, which will be chaired by Elizabeth Cabraser, a partner in Lieff Cabraser based in San Francisco.
The multidistrict litigation resulted from Volkswagen’s installation of software that could detect when the vehicles’ emissions were being tested and deliver false—and more favorable—results in diesel-fueled cars the company sold from 2009 to 2015. Volkswagen installed emissions-test “defeat devices” in approximately 11 million vehicles, including approximately 500,000 cars sold in the United States. The company advertised its diesel-fueled vehicles as “green,” with low emissions of toxic gases when, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the cars were actually emitting up to 40 times more toxic fumes than are permitted under U.S. emission standards.
In the U.S., Volkswagen faces numerous product liability lawsuits as well as suits alleging that the company knowingly engaged in deceptive marketing and sales practices.
The 22 attorneys who will serve on the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” multidistrict litigation plaintiffs’ steering committee were appointed by a court order issued by Judge Charles R. Breyer of California’s Northern District Court on January 21, 2016.
Stranch has served as lead counsel in a number of complex cases, including In re: Alpha Corp. Securities Litigation, which resulted in a $161 million settlement in a securities fraud suit, In. Re: Omnivision Technology Securities Litigation, which resulted in a $12.5 million settlement in a securities fraud suit, and Lankford v. Dow Chemical, which resulted in a $4.2 million settlement in a nationwide consumer protection class action suit. He joined Branstetter Stranch & Jennings in 2003.