Court to rule whether nurse’s case against Volkswagen over emissions can go ahead in District Court

A High Court judge is due to rule next week on proceedings by Volkswagen aimed at preventing a woman’s action arising from its emissions scandal continuing at Castlebar District Court.

Eithne Higgins, a nurse, of Boyle, Co Roscommon, claims a 2010 Seat Leon purchased second-hand by her from a garage in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, is among the estimated 11 million cars worldwide affected by the emissions problem.

Ms Higgins is claiming loss and damage in sums to be ascertained, including for any amounts which may be due for motor tax.

Volkswagen says it is not seeking to stop Ms Higgins’ litigating but maintains Dublin District Court is the appropriate venue for hers and other cases initiated here against it arising from installation of so-called cheat devices designed to mislead US emissions tests.

In its High Court action, it submitted Castlebar District Court has no jurisdiction to hear her case and that Judge Mary Devins had prejudged the jurisdictional issue and breached the firm’s right to fair procedures in rulings on preliminary matters in the case.

Lawyers for Ms Higgins denied those claims.

The proceedings first came before the District Court in May 2016 and lawyers for Volkswagen walked out of the District Court on September 6th after saying the firm’s legal advice was the court had no jurisdiction to proceed as the District Judge proposed.

On September 15th, Volkswagen Group Ireland and Volkswagen AG secured leave from the High Court for judicial review.

The District Court proceedings remain on hold pending the outcome of the High Court case.


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