12122017Headline:

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Greg Webb
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Judge Rules Toyota Suit Remain Unsealed

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A federal judge in Los Angeles has refused to seal a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Dimitrios Biller, a former in-house attorney for Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. Biller claims Toyota hid and destroyed evidence in many rollover lawsuits. While Toyota argues the suit violates the confidentiality agreement in Biller’s severance package and will cause the company to suffer more harm if the complaint is not sealed, the judge ruled it would be pointless to seal the complaint since information regarding the lawsuit is already on the Internet. Biller has also filed a wrongful termination suit against the Los Angeles district attorney’s office, where he worked after Toyota, claiming his termination here violated the American’s With Disabilities Act because of diagnosed dyslexia and mental conditions. Though Toyota was not part of this lawsuit, they have been attempting to seal documents from this case as well, claiming Biller divulged confidential information about the automaker that is protected by attorney-client privilege.

From 2003 until his resignation in 2007, Biller was national managing counsel in the legal services group in charge of Toyota’s rollover program. His lawsuit alleges Toyota violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), causing him to be wrongfully terminated and intentionally inflicted emotional distress; Biller claims he suffered a mental breakdown and was forced to resign from his position after Toyota attempted to stop his efforts to turn over missing evidence. In response, he received a $3.7 million in severance. Not only did he claim Toyota committed criminal acts in rollover cases, but Biller also claims the automaker engaged in a conspiracy to hide and destroy evidence that he was obligated to turn over to the plaintiff’s attorney. Biller alleges his boss told him not to keep some electronic discovery materials in at least three hundred rollover cases, which was "tantamount to the destruction of evidence and/or concealing evidence, either of which would have amounted to obstruction of justice." Following a 2006 performance review, Biller wrote a twenty-three page memo that outlined Toyota’s "dysfunctional" product liability group and accused his boss of causing the company to break the law. Biller claims this memo, which was signed by his boss, was destroyed.