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A former in-house lawyer for Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. has filed court papers defending his claims that the automaker engaged in an illegal racketeering conspiracy to destroy and hide electronic discovery in rollover cases. “Plaintiffs have been forced out of business, sued, harassed, defrauded, threatened, intimidated, left unemployed, rendered unemployable, defamed, and publicly ridiculed by Defendants because Plaintiff Dimitrios Biller, Toyota’s former managing counsel, uncovered evidence of Defendants’ wrongdoing and tried to correct it,” Biller argued in court papers filed on Monday. “As an attorney, Biller was compelled to cease the practice of law, his profession, directly as a result of Defendants’ acts of racketeering,” he said. Biller, who was national managing counsel in the legal services group in charge of Toyota’s rollover crash litigation between 2003 until his resignation in 2007, filed suit on July 24 against Toyota Motor Sales, its parent corporation, Toyota Motor Corp., and several in-house attorneys, claiming that Toyota hid or destroyed evidence that he felt he was “ethically and legally obligated to turn over.” The suit, which also asserts wrongful termination, threatens to reopen personal injury suits brought against Toyota on behalf of victims of rollover accidents. On Oct. 5, Toyota moved to dismiss the racketeering conspiracy allegations, claiming that Biller failed to establish the existence of an enterprise or that he was injured by the alleged conduct. In his latest filing, Biller said that both arguments are misleading. The racketeering enterprise includes Toyota’s separate companies as well as various individuals, including the company’s outside lawyers at San Francisco’s Littler Mendelson who are representing the automaker in Biller’s suit, he argued. The conspiracy occurred while he was employed at Toyota and continued after his “forced resignation.” As a result, he and his business, a consulting firm called Litigation Discovery & Trial Consulting Inc., which he started after leaving Toyota, suffered injuries from the conspiracy, Biller said. A hearing on the motion to dismiss is scheduled for Nov. 9. On Sept. 25, Los Angeles Co., Calif., Superior Court Judge John L. Segal referred Biller to the State Bar of California for investigation of his conduct in a separate lawsuit Toyota filed last year against Biller.

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