Virginia judge rejects VW bid to delay first U.S. diesel emissions trial

FAIRFAX, Va., Feb 20 (Reuters) - A Virginia state court judge on Tuesday rejected a request by the U.S. unit of Volkswagen AG to delay several of the company's trials over excess emissions because it fears "inflammatory" comments made by a lawyer representing car owners in a TV documentary will prejudice the jury.

Fairfax County Circuit Court judge Bruce White said after a hearing that he would proceed with a Feb. 26 trial involving a North Carolina man who bought a 2014 diesel Jetta.

Volkswagen said publicity from a Netflix documentary that disclosed the company had jointly sponsored tests that exposed monkeys in 2014 to toxic diesel fumes could prejudice its chances of receiving a fair trial. (Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Grant McCool)