Following allegations made by a former lawyer for Toyota that it hid key records from past rollover accident plaintiffs suing for personal injury and wrongful death, the world’s auto manufacturer could find that it will be forced to defend itself against auto products liability lawsuits that the company had already settled or won.
The former Toyota attorney, Dimitrios Biller, says that he was pressured into leaving his job because he complained about the company’s alleged activities. He says Toyota got rid of testing and engineering evidence in over 300 SUV rollover lawsuits that should have been given to plaintiffs.
Biller also says that Toyota withheld a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report about roof-crush data and that there are a number of Toyota vehicles being driven on US roads today that fail to meet the company’s internally mandated safety goals. He describes Toyota’s alleged misconduct as a “systematic pattern and practice of discovery abuses and criminal acts against plaintiffs.”
Rollover collisions are responsible for more than 30% of motor vehicle fatalities each year, claiming the lives of over 10,000 people. Auto manufacturers are responsible for designing their vehicles-in particular, sport utility vehicles, in such a way that the chances of a rollover accident happening are minimized. In the event that motor vehicle does rollover, the roof should be able to protect passengers during roof crush incidents, which can otherwise result in spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and wrongful death.
Injuries from rollover crashes often require costly, extensive medical care. One way that victims have been able to afford medical services and a lifetime spent coping with permanent disabilities and other serious injuries is to recover compensation from liable automakers. If in fact Toyota did conceal key data that could have resulted in an auto products liability plaintiff receiving a more substantial recovery-or any compensation for that matter-this is a good reason to reopen a rollover lawsuit.
Our Boston auto products liability law firm represents clients with rollover lawsuits, defective tire cases, faulty seat belt claims, and other injury and wrongful death cases that occurred because an automaker was negligent when designing or manufacturing their motor vehicles.
Toyota May Face Push to Reopen Rollover-Crash Cases, Bloomberg, September 1, 2009
Toyota Accused of Hiding Evidence, CBS, August 29, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Biller v. Toyota (PDF)