Ex-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has filed a lawsuit against his former employer, seeking $1 billion in compensation for alleged defamation, slander, libel and fabrication of material evidence.
The case was filed on May 18 in Lebanon, where Ghosn has evaded fraud charges arising from his tenure at Nissan. Reuters reports that the court will hear the case in September.
The lawsuit is yet another development in a series of escalating confrontations between Nissan and its former CEO. Ghosn led the company from 2001 to 2017 and was largely responsible for establishing partnerships with Renault and Mitsubishi. His employment with the automaker ended in 2018 when he and an alleged accomplice were arrested by Japanese authorities over accusations of financial misconduct.
Ghosn, who has maintained his innocence, fled the country the next year by concealing himself within an audio-equipment box on a plane to Lebanon, his home country. Two U.S. citizens have since been arrested in connection with the escape.
Since his termination, Ghosn and his former employer have remained mired in legal battles, both with each other and Japanese authorities. The ex-CEO has repeatedly denied the claims lodged against him, calling Japan’s justice system “rigged.” He has also accused the automaker’s leadership of conspiring to oust as a form of vengeance for ceding too much control to Renault, which owns a soon-to-be reduced 43.4% stake in the company. While the $1 billion suit may be the largest to come from his arrest, Nissan and its fugitive executive have already faced each other in court several times; one ongoing case could see Ghosn pay up to $91 million in damages to the car manufacturer resulting from “years of his misconduct and fraudulent activity.”