AUGUST 24, 2006
Haggling in court in Cologne
Gustav Brunner and Panasonic Toyota Racing have been haggling over a severance deal for a long time and the problem has now gone to court in Cologne with Toyota offering $1.7m in compensation but Brunner apparently holding out for more. The Austrian designer was dropped by the team in December 2005, just a few weeks before he was charged in relationship to allegations of espionage involving former Ferrari engineers and workers at Toyota. Brunner has not been indicted as the the Staatsanwaltschaft K?ln, the public prosecution service, is waiting for the Italian authorities to go ahead with their case. It is thought unlikely that those charges will ever go to court.
In the meantime Brunner wants a pay-off, despite the fact that he earned in excess of $2.5m since joining Toyota in May 2001. We hear that the problem is based on the fact that Brunner had an open-ended contract with the team and thus no clear way to establish a fair settlement.
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