Toyota generally enjoys a good reputation among auto owners. It has had one of the early gas-saving hybrid vehicles, the Highlander. And the car is generally considered reliable. But a lawyer who used to work for the company is putting an entirely different PR spin on Toyota. The 46-year-old man who worked for Toyota from 2003 to 2008 said that his job was to manage electronic records for Toyota litigation. But he quit, or was fired, depending on who you believe, after a breakdown over what the company had him do – destroy engineering and testing evidence in more than 300 Toyota SUV rollover and roof crush cases.
That is very serious, but the allegations are coming out in the man’s lawsuit against the company charging federal racketeering. He says that when he learned that electronic data, such as e-mails, were being withheld by the company, he tried to collect and preserve the information.
Among them was the rollover of a Toyota that left a 6-year-old a quadriplegic and dependent on a ventilator.
Evidence is never to be destroyed under the rules of discovery – that is presenting evidence in preparation for trial. The man says that Toyota has engaged in a systematic pattern and practice of discovery abuses and criminal acts against plaintiffs in litigation against the Toyota entities.
It goes without saying that Toyota is angry that many things they would rather keep secret are now coming out.
And needless to say, this man’s lawsuit lays the groundwork for every lawsuit ever resolved by Toyota over the past decade to be re-opened. Expect that to happen. If you have resolved a case against Toyota for a serious accident involving a rollover or roof crush, it would be advisable to visit with an experienced Jacksonville defective auto attorney to see if there is new evidence available that may have an impact on your case.