Toyota Accused of Hiding Evidence in Rollover Case

Special counsel will investigate claims
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2011 8:30 AM CST
Visitors walk in the showroom of Toyota Motor Corp. in Tokyo Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

(Newser) – Toyota is accused of hiding evidence during a 2006 lawsuit regarding a woman paralyzed in a crash, and a Texas judge has appointed special counsel to investigate the claims. In 2005, Pennie Green swerved on a highway and her 1997 Camry rolled over. The roof collapsed and broke her spine, rendering her a quadriplegic. She settled for $1.5 million in 2007, but two years later filed to hold Toyota in contempt, because she would have held out for more or sought a trial had she been aware of the allegedly hidden evidence.

Former Toyota lawyer Dimitrios Biller, who has released thousands of pages of confidential Toyota documents, claims the automaker hid safety data in rollover cases, the AP reports. The judge acknowledged that “questions exist” over Toyota’s handling of Green’s case. Says her attorney, “We are pleased the court is taking a step further to get to the truth, whether or not Toyota lied or destroyed evidence in Ms. Green's case.” Toyota denies any wrongdoing.

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