Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek series and also had roles in movies like Green Room, Like Crazy, and Alpha Dog, died on June 19 when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled backwards down his driveway and pinned him against an entrance post at his Studio City home. He was only 27.
On August 2, Yelchin’s parents filed a wrongful death and product liability lawsuit against the vehicle’s manufacturer, Fiat Chrysler, as well as the retail chain AutoNation and ZF North America, which manufactured the gear shift. The suit, which was filed at Los Angeles Superior Court, contends that the vehicle’s poorly designed gear shifter contributed directly to their son’s untimely death.
The actor’s SUV was among 1.1 million vehicles recalled in April after a government investigation found that the vehicles’ joystick-like gears shifters have confused consumers, causing hundreds of roll away accidents and leading to dozens of injuries. Specifically, the gear shifters were linked to 266 crashes that had injured 68 people as of late June.
Fiat Chrysler sent out an initial safety recall notice in May, and another one notifying consumers of a fix for the gear shifter in June, seven days after Yelchin died.
No monetary figure was noted in the lawsuit, which demands a jury trial. A legal representative of Yelchin’s family said the suit isn’t motivated by money, but by the desire to bring Fiat Chrysler to justice for their negligence. He added that the family is seeking punitive damages because they believe Fiat Chrysler knew about the defect but sold the vehicles anyway for the sake of profit.
Have you been injured in an accident involving a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a recalled gear shifter? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more. To learn more about your legal rights and options for recovery in a FREE consultation, call Wilshire Law Firm today at (800) 522-7274. Our experienced product liability attorneys have the brain power, the unsurpassed personnel, and the determination to fight an important battle on your behalf. We don’t collect fees unless we win – this is our ironclad promise to you.