The German state of Bavaria said today that it will sue Volkswagen for state pension fund damages caused by the diesel emissions scandal that came to light last September, making it the first regional government in Germany to try and bring the automaker to court.
VW’s shares plummeted after the scandal, which in turn led to a financial hemorrhage of civil servant state pension funds, reports Reuters. All in all, Bavaria, which is home to BMW, lost about €700,000 ($783,580), the finance ministry said. And the people aren’t happy about it.
Bavaria’s pension fund lost out from the fall in the shares, Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Soeder told German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), his spokeswoman said. “We want this money back,” said Soeder, a member of the Christian Social Union sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.
Soeder said Bavaria’s pension fund would file its suit against VW in September at the regional court of Braunschweig near VW’s Wolfsburg headquarters in the state of Lower Saxony, according to DPA which reported the legal action earlier on Tuesday.
This is a tricky suit because, despite VW’s wrongdoings, the state of Lower Saxony, which is where VW is located, has a 20 percent stake in the company. This is a suit that involves one party of financially hurt German citizens potentially hurting another party of financially hurt German citizens.
What a mess.