Anton Yelchin’s Parents Sue Fiat Chrysler for Wrongful Death

Anton Yelchin
Anton Yelchin on April 13, 2016 in Hollywood, California.  Paul Redmond/FilmMagic

UPDATE: Anton Yelchin’s parents, Victor and Irina Yelchin, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler in Los Angeles on Tuesday, August 2, the Associated Press reports. The company manufactured the Jeep Grand Cherokee that killed the Star Trek actor in June.

The suit alleges the gear selector was defective and poorly designed, according to the AP. It also claims his SUV didn’t stay in the park setting, which allowed it to roll back and pin Anton between a brick wall and the car.

“Anton Yelchin was crushed and lingered alive for some time, trapped and suffocating until his death,” the lawsuit says.

The documents did not mention how much the Yelchin family is seeking in damages, the AP says. Fiat Chrysler could not comment to the AP because the company had not yet been served with the suit.

“In spite of our unbelievable grief, we decided to come here to prevent other families from the same tragedy,” Victor said during the press conference. 

Original story below:

 Yelchin’s parents, Victor and Irina Yelchin, are planning on filing a wrongful-death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler, the Associated Press reported on Monday, August 1. The family’s attorney Gary Dordick is expected to announce the details of the suit during a press conference on Tuesday, August 2.

As previously reported by Us Weekly, the Star Trek actor died on June 19 after being pinned between his brick mailbox post and a security fence after his 2015 Jeep Cherokee rolled backward down the driveway of his L.A. home. He died of blunt traumatic asphyxia within a minute of the accident, the Los Angeles County’s coroner office reported.

According to NBC News, the family’s lawsuit will allege that the car’s defects led to his death.

Yelchin’s SUV was reportedly one of the 1.1 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles that were recalled because of a faulty gearshift that made it difficult to put the car into park, drive or reverse. His death sparked a class action lawsuit against the company. According to Deadline.com, a lawsuit filed on June 23 accuses the manufacturer of “intentionally covering up fatal design flaws and deaths from the defects.”

“The safety issue is real,” law firm Hagens Berman Sobel Shapiro wrote in the complaint obtained by Deadline. “Well over 300 accidents have already been reported, causing dozens of serious injuries, and potentially the death of Anton Yelchin, a young Hollywood actor who was crushed to death when his own 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his drive and pinned him against his brick mailbox.”

The actor’s death was ruled accidental by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, but investigators are still looking into whether the gearshift issue led to his death. 

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