Saturday

Toyota Hid Evidence About Liability, Their ExLawyer Says

A lawyer who worked for Toyota says the manufacturer hid and destroyed evidence about accidents involving their vehicles from the courts, federal investigators and lawyers representing victims in lawsuits against the company.

Automotive News is reporting that Dimitrios Biller worked as an attorney for Toyota Motor Corp. for four years until 2007, including representing the automaker in accident litigation. In a lawsuit filed this summer in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Biller said Toyota did not listen to his urgings to disclose all the evidence it had in rollover lawsuits or for National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations.

The lawsuit, a public record, was quickly met by an effort of Toyota to get the judge assigned to the case to "seal' the record so no one would see what Biller is saying. But for now, the court documents are public. And the possible existence of evidence that could harm Toyota in accident litigation has caused Dallas attorney Todd Tracy to plan to refile 15 rollover, frontal-impact and rear-impact suits against Toyota.

Tracy, who fought against Biller in Toyota cases, has said he can not imagine Biller is making it up and he's not the only attorney who is getting ready to refile their cases.

Meanwhile, what is Toyota's response? Toyota spokesman Mike Michels said the company was "concerned" with Biller's breach of attorney-client privilege and contracts in disclosing information from when he worked at Toyota.

Notice that they didn't deny hiding evidence, they didn't deny destroying evidence, they just said he shouldn't be allowed to tell anyone about it. The whole thing sounds like a lawyer with a conscience and most people would be quick to say there's nothing wrong with that.

Courts will be looking to see if the allegations are true and if they are, Toyota may face some huge penalties and fines and dozens of new lawsuits on old cases that they thought they had won already. And rightly so.

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