Toyota Rollover Lawsuits in Texas Will Not be Reopened
An attorney who was attempting to reopen 17 Toyota rollover lawsuits has agreed that the cases should remain closed, indicating documents that were allegedly withheld by the company were not strong enough to support his cases.
The attempt to reopen the product liability lawsuits was filed by Texas attorney E. Todd Tracy in September, after allegations were raised by former a Toyota lawyer, Dimitrios Biller, that the automaker withheld or destroyed important safety information involving Toyota SUV rollover accidents.
After reviewing boxes of documents released by the company, Tracy said that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Toyota that would have affected the cases, some of which were dismissed and others of which settled.
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The documents reportedly matched those produced by Biller in support of his allegations in a separate federal lawsuit filed in California. Biller, who was previously in charge of the Toyota’s National Rollover Program, has sued the auto maker alleging that he lost his job after repeatedly confronting Toyota officials with complaints that they were illegally withholding documents in rollover lawsuits, including evidence of crashworthiness tests that revealed several Toyota vehicles have a propensity to rollover. Biller has claimed that about 300 Toyota rollover lawsuits were affected by the withheld evidence.
In November, Biller’s lawsuit was forced into arbitration after U.S. District Judge George H. King in California determined that Biller must arbitrate the claims against Toyota as per an agreement in his 2007 severance package with the company. King also dismissed racketeering claims Biller brought against Toyota Motor Sales USA.
Biller claimed to have suffered a breakdown due to the pressure resulting from the incidents and alleged that Toyota drove him out and damaged his reputation. He had argued that the severance agreement was not binding because he had been mentally incompetent at the time he signed it, and he also argued that the confidentiality clause in the agreement was illegal.
Toyota maintains that it complied with all court orders to produce evidence in good faith, and claims that Biller violated attorney-client privileges in his legal claims.
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