It isn’t often that this happens to me.
If there is a way for me to lose large amounts of money through no fault of my own, it will happen. Those bucks are history. Or, more likely, my money is in somebody else’s pocket.
But when the Volkswagen scandal hit the news this past fall, I will honestly say I breathed a sigh of relief.
You see, we’d been looking to replace my car for well over a year at that point, and a Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen was in the running. (We wouldn’t have gone for a diesel though. Even though I had no inkling of the cheating, I figured sooner or later any diesel was going to smell like my neighbor’s Mercedes Diesel which not only stinks to high heaven, but increases the particulate content of the atmosphere 10-fold every time he fires the damn thing up.)
When we read about the cheating, Volkswagen immediately came off the list. So did Audi and Porsche, which were only on the “Wish” list anyway.
Why would we want to buy a car from a company that intentionally cheated its customers and damaged the environment?
I felt bad for the folks who’d bought any Volkswagens, though, because surely the value of their cars plummeted, diesel or gas-powered. A car is a huge investment for most of us; this hurts big time.
I knew there would be lawsuits out the wahzoo brought by people who had been defrauded. There are times when lawsuits are absolutely justified. This is one of them.
Enter the GOP.
Later this week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a bill that will screw folks who bought Volkswagens. It will take away the ability of them to file a class action law suit. And of course, class action is the only way that individuals have a prayer of getting any money back for their losses.
H.R. 1927, the hilariously titled “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act,” was introduced by Neanderthal congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-I’m sure you’re shocked-VA) — and the House is expected to vote on it this week.
The bill states that it will do the following,
This bill amends the federal judicial code to prohibit federal courts from certifying any proposed class seeking monetary relief for personal injury or economic loss unless the party seeking to maintain such a class action affirmatively demonstrates that each proposed class member suffered an injury of the same type and scope as the injury of the named class representatives. (Emphasis added)
In short, that means that every single Volkswagen owner must have identical factors in order for a Class Action suit to be allowed to go forward. That means that, in order to join a class action lawsuit, each and every Volkswagen purchaser must have:
- Purchased the exact same vehicle
- Paid the same amount for their vehicle
- Driven the same amount of mileage
- Etc. etc. etc.
The entire purpose of the bill is to prevent Class Action law suits. [For those unaware of what this means, a class action law suit is when a group of normal people who have been injured band together and sue a large entity for redress. Class action lawsuits are the only way a group of normal consumers can maybe, possibly, get some measure of restitution. How we can keep from being screwed.
Earlier today, I wrote to my congresswoman, asking her to vote against this bill. Because while it impacts the folks who bought Volkswagens, it will be used to prevent class action law suits from the time it is enacted onwards. And sooner or later, it will impact all of us.
If you would like to write your Congressman or woman, and tell them to vote against this bill, here is the link to find your Rep: http://www.house.gov/representatives/.
Thank you to my bloggin’ buddy, Mark, at Lean Left for reminding me of this story and inspiring me to write about it.