Wednesday, September 24, 2014

National Law Journal article - "Translator Fights Back in Dispute Over Toyota Documents"


Translator Fights Back in Dispute Over Toyota Documents

, The National Law Journal
September 24, 2014
A translator who provided internal Toyota documents to news reporters has objected to the carmaker’s requests for sanctions against her for alleged failure to obey a protective order in litigation over sudden acceleration.
U.S. District Judge James Selna has ordered Betsy Benjaminson to show cause why she should not be sanctioned and to appear in his Santa Ana, Calif., courtroom.

[gist of next paragraph: I am proposing to first give all of the electronics-related SUA documents to Independent Monitor David Kelley, and then I will eliminate them from this computer. Toyota has refused to agree to this proposal but has not said why.]
[Toyota claimed in its filings that all the docs were covered by the court protective order, but ] There exists “a bona fide dispute as to whether the vast majority of the Toyota documents in her possession are covered by the protective order, instead of a private contractual agreement with a translation company," her counsel, David Azar of Milberg argued. “That translation work started years before she was asked to sign the protective order, and ended months before she signed it in June 2012 in conjunction with starting work for a different translation agency.”
When Benjaminson worked for the first agency, it was on behalf of Debevoise & Plimpton, which represented Toyota while the government investigated the company for criminal liability.
“It was during that work .... that Benjaminson came to the belief that Toyota’s internal documents revealed that its public statements about sudden unintended acceleration did not match its statements to investigators, Congress, and the public about the important vehicle safety concerns at issue,” Azar wrote. “Benjaminson was no ‘rogue’ translator.”

Read more here.