Ohio high court delays ruling in Volkswagen emissions case

"Courtroom Gavel" by Joe Gratz, public domain

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP): The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to delay its ruling that Volkswagen is subject to Ohio anti-tampering laws that carry the potential of hundreds of billions of dollars in damages. The court allowed the delay while Volkswagen appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.

At issue is the 2015 scandal in which the automaker was found to have rigged its vehicles to cheat U.S. diesel emissions tests. The company ultimately paid more than $33 billion in fines and settlements.

In the wake of the scandal, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office sued the company, alleging Volkswagen’s conduct — affecting about 14,000 vehicles sold or leased in Ohio — violated the state’s anti-air pollution law.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in June that the federal Clean Air Act does not preclude Ohio from seeking its own compensation against Volkswagen. State Attorney General Dave Yost successfully argued the federal law doesn’t stop Ohio from suing over emissions test tampering that occurred after new cars were sold.

Ohio is seeking damages that could total $127 billion a year over multiple years, the company noted in its filing. Volkswagen asked the state Supreme Court to delay its ruling while it asks the U.S. Supreme Court to accept its appeal.

Yost’s office did not object to the delay.

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