Robin L. Greenwald, a former senior attorney within the U.S. Department of Justice and now head of the Weitz & Luxenberg Environmental, Toxic Tort & Consumer Protection litigation unit, has been appointed to an important leadership role in the multidistrict federal court litigation currently advancing against Volkswagen, Weitz & Luxenberg today announced.
Greenwald was named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee on Jan. 21 by the Hon. Charles R. Breyer of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Weitz & Luxenberg said.
Consumers in this multidistrict litigation are alleging that Volkswagen sold them diesel vehicles programmed to pass smog tests by cheating, a capability that not only causes significant pollution but also substantially lessens the value of these expensive cars, the law firm said.
The matter is known as In Re: Volkswagen ”Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, And Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2672 CRB JSC), according to Weitz & Luxenberg.
‘Defeat Device’ Said Installed in VW Diesels
The litigation against Volkswagen traces back to mid-September when it was revealed that the company had outfitted nearly half a million diesel vehicles in the U.S. with a device to enable them to appear compliant with air pollution emissions standards when in fact they were not, law firm indicated.
Weitz & Luxenberg said it then initiated a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen on behalf of defrauded consumers across the country.
The complaint brought by Weitz & Luxenberg alleged in part that purchasers of the affected Volkswagen cars paid a premium to own these diesel vehicles, a premium attributable to their alleged environmental benefits and performance, the law firm said.
The Volkswagen lawsuit is not the first multidistrict litigation in which Greenwald has held a leadership position, Weitz & Luxenberg said.
Earlier, she served as plaintiffs’ liaison counsel in In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (”MBTE”) Products Liability Litigation (MDL 1358) and for the past five years she has been a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the BP Oil Spill litigation (MDL 2179), the law firm said.
A History of Championing Consumers
Greenwald began her career in law as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. She later became assistant chief of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice, in charge of Legislation, Policy and Special Litigation, Weitz & Luxenberg said.
Greenwald then was appointed as General Counsel for the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the law firm said.
From there, she served as executive director of an international not-for-profit water protection organization and as a clinical professor of law at Rutgers Law School before joining Weitz & Luxenberg in 2005, according to the law firm.