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Hagens Berman UK LLP Secures Litigation Funding, ATE Insurance and Issues Proceedings Against Mercedes, Strengthening its Global Litigation Against the Car Manufacturer

English claim could be worth more than £1bn

LONDON – Hagens Berman UK, the London firm of globally renowned US class-action law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, announces the latest developments in its consumer group action litigation on behalf of UK Mercedes drivers affected by emissions-cheating.

Hagens Berman UK successfully secured substantial litigation funding from Harbour as well as significant After-the-Event (ATE) Insurance to protect its claimant group. The firm has filed proceedings against Daimler AG, Mercedes Benz Cars UK Limited and Mercedes Benz Financial Services UK Limited, in order to press England and Wales Mercedes’ drivers claims arising from dirty diesel-related emissions.

Some 33,000 England and Wales based Mercedes drivers have already registered interest to have Hagens Berman represent them in the group litigation and can now formally opt in to join the group (according to GLO procedure). Other interested parties are also still eligible to join.

“British consumers have a similar right to compensation for unlawful, deceptive and defective emissions- cheating implemented by Mercedes,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “Following the $700 million US settlement against Mercedes, we spent the past year laying the foundation for equally successful litigation in the UK. We are now poised to hold Mercedes and other defendants to account.”

Round One: Consumer 1; Mercedes 0

An estimated 1.2 million potential claimants in England and Wales owning, leasing or operating affected Mercedes vehicles – either currently or previously – have been affected, based on Mercedes selling more than 700,000 impacted vehicles there between 2008 and 2018. This includes private owners and businesses, such as fleet operators and hire-car companies, as well as lessees of relevant vehicles.

Hagens Berman’s US litigation against Mercedes, led by Steve Berman, returned more than $700 million to US owners of affected Mercedes dirty diesel BlueTEC vehicles2, and led to a $2.2 billion settlement with the US Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency and others in 2020.

Michael Gallagher, Co-Managing Director and partner of Hagens Berman UK, comments: “Harbour’s case-specific funding and the fact we have successfully secured ATE coverage for claimants from Top- Rated A+ insurers demonstrates a recognition of the merits of our case.

“ATE insurance is meaningful to our clients, and should be to every client claimant, as it provides an extra layer of value and security for them. We are especially proud to offer this to those who join our group litigation, in addition to a no-win, no fee arrangement.”

Gallagher added: “As a firm, we have an impressive reputation for investigating, researching and litigating against global defendants and diesel emissions-cheating fraud. We will be leveraging that expertise and applying the same tenacity and attention to detail in pursuing our litigation in the UK.”
 
Hagens Berman UK launched in London in 2020 and is Hagens Berman’s first international office. The firm has retained a Leading Commercial QC - David Cavender of One Essex Court - to serve as its QC in the case against Mercedes. In addition to its existing London-based solicitor team, the firm will be making further notable hires in the coming weeks.

Steve Berman comments: “We have plans to grow our brand and reputation in the UK market where there is scope to do more to champion consumer rights over corporate wrong-doing and violations and
where the legal landscape is changing. Alongside our emissions and automotive case work, where we will initially focus on Mercedes-related litigation in the UK, we intend to broaden our practice and caseload into other areas of the law especially in competition, consumer, environmental, securities and civil rights litigation.”

Current and former owners, lessees and fleet operators of affected Mercedes vehicles in England and Wales who are interested in finding out more about the Hagens Berman UK Group Litigation Order may visit www.mercedes-dieselclaims.co.uk. This group action claim is being conducted on a no-win, no-fee basis, meaning that there will be no out-of-pocket cost to sign up or participate.

Ends

Media Contacts

Bell Yard Communications: +44 207 936 2021 / BellYard@bell-yard.com

Steve Berman and Michael J. Gallagher Jr. are available for interviews and can be reached on ashleyk@hbsslaw.co.uk

Notes for Editors

About Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with nine offices across the US. Hagens Berman UK LLP is headquartered in London and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The firm’s tenacious drive for plaintiffs’ rights has earned it numerous accolades, awards and
titles of “Most Feared Plaintiff’s Firm,” and MVPs and Trailblazers of class-action law. Hagens Berman’s track record spans many practice areas, with record-breaking settlements and victories in the areas of automotive litigation, securities, consumer-rights cases, pension protection and more.

Some of the firm’s highlights include State Tobacco Litigation ($206 billion settlement), Visa MasterCard ATM Antitrust Litigation ($27 billion settlement), Toyota Sudden, Unintended Acceleration ($1.6 billion settlement), E-books Antitrust Litigation ($560 million settlement), Enron Pension Protection Litigation ($250 million settlement), Charles Schwab Securities Litigation ($235 million settlement), NCAA Grant in Aid Scholarships Litigation ($208 million settlement), as well as many other record-setting achievements.

Read more about Hagens Berman’s victories and record-breaking settlements at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.

About Hagens Berman’s Litigation against Mercedes

Footnotes

  1. Hagens Berman not only secured a $700 million settlement from Mercedes in 2020 on behalf of US Mercedes owners of affected diesel vehicles but Mercedes was also forced to conduct a nationwide recall, repair Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles, pay more than $945 million in penalties, perform projects to mitigate pollution and revamp its procedures. Hagens Berman has also been involved in litigation against Volkswagen in the US where it was found that a comparable defeat device was used and again, the firm also secured substantial compensation for US vehicle owners.
  2. Hagen Berman’s Group Litigation Action in England and Wales alleges that Mercedes used illegal emissions-cheating devices to mask non-compliant levels of pollution in the following vehicles powered by BlueTEC diesel-fuelled engines and sold from 2008 up to 2018: A-Class, B-Class, C- Class, Citan, CLA, CLS, E-Class, GL-Class, GLA-Class, GLC-Class, GLE-Class, GLS, M-Class, S- Class, SLK, Sprinter, V-Class, and Vito. (This list continues to expand as the investigation evolves so operators should register their Mercedes model.) Models include passenger and commercial vehicles and vans, such as people movers, shuttles and taxis. Not only private owners and businesses, such as fleet operators and hire car companies, but also lessees of vehicles affected may be eligible for damages. Compensation could be in the range of £5,000 to £10,000 per vehicle. To find out more visit: www.mercedes-dieselclaims.co.uk or www.hbsslaw.co.uk.

 

10 March 2021
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