Former Toyota lawyer cleared of misconduct in whistle blower case
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
As Toyota Motor Sales struggles with a massive recall over its cars unexpectedly accelerating, the California State Bar cleared the automaker’s former in-house counsel of violating attorney-client privilege when he divulged information about roll-over accidents, the Daily Journal discloses today.
The Daily Journal’s Ciaran McEvoy disclosed that the State Bar closed its investigation into allegations of that Dimitrios P. Biller breached professional ethics by releasing internal information.
The Daily Journal quoted from a Dec. 10 letter from the State Bar to Biller stating the investigators completed their work and “and determined that this matter does not warrant further action.”
Biller oversaw Toyota’s national rollover division for four years ending in September 2007. Superior Court Judge John L. Segal of Los Angeles had asked for the investigation.
Biller filed a civil lawsuit federal court in July alleging that Toyota executives concealed evidence from federal transportation safety officials, and consumers who had filed lawsuits over roll-over accidents.
Los Angeles-based investigative journalist Myron Levin first reported Biller’s tale back in August for CBS. Here is Levin’s separate report on a class action law suit filed in federal court in Los Angeles by victims of Toyota rollovers. Toyota has denied the allegations.