The ex-Toyota lawyer who disclosed sensitive safety-test documents to journalists and the public must return those documents and pay Toyota $2.6 million, an arbitrator ruled last week.
Dimitrios Biller, who worked at Toyota's U.S. headquarters in Torrance, Calif. from 2003-07, violated his $3.7 million severance agreement, the arbitrator ruled.
Biller, 48, improperly took thousands of pages of internal documents, known within the company as the "Books of Knowledge," and disclosed contents to the media, on his Web site and in public seminars, the arbitrator said.
In 2009 Toyota sued Biller, saying he broke his severance deal by taking the documents. He countersued, and the suits were consolidated under court-supervised arbitration.
Biller caused Toyota "extensive" harm and "did the professionally unthinkable: he betrayed the confidences of his client," said the arbitrator, retired federal Judge Gary Taylor of Orange, Calif.
The award included $100,000 in punitive damages. Taylor also ordered Biller to return the material and barred further disclosures.
Biller, who led Toyota's legal unit that managed rollover cases, did not respond to requests for comment.
Biller has said he was hired in part to conceal the Books of Knowledge. He described them as sensitive electronic records about vehicle design, testing and performance that would have undermined Toyota's defenses in lawsuits.
The decision did not deal with the substance of Biller's allegations about the material.