Anton Yelchin, the actor famous for playing Chekov in the ‘Star Trek’ reboot among other movies was tragically killed June 19th after his Jeep Cherokee rolled backward into him, pinning him between a brick pillar and security fence. Since that time, his family has remained mostly silent regarding his death until they announced this week that they plan to pursue a wrongful death claim against Fiat Chrysler, car manufacturer ZF North American and car dealership chain AutoNation for the death of their son.
The jeep in question, a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, was the subject of a recall several months before Mr. Yelchin’s death. Additionally, Jeep owners filed a $5 million class-action lawsuit mere days after his death.
The recall was issued back in April for 248,667 vehicles covering the 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The recall was voluntary to correct a design error involving the electronic gear shifter. According to research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 41 injuries in 212 crashes were linked to the recalled models.
The government report did not blame any of the injuries on the defect. However, the class action lawsuit claims the “dangerously defective” gear shifter was responsible for over 300 deaths. According to the investigation, the car will incorrectly display that the vehicle transmission is in “parked.” It is possible that some drivers can get struck by their vehicles if it rolls back into them assuming the engine is running, and the parking brake is not engaged.
If you have lost a loved one due to an accident, then you may want to speak to an attorney. The desire to bring a lawsuit, to investigate and assign blame, is a natural reaction however not always the correct action. A lawyer can go over your particular situation and advise you on whether or not a lawsuit is the proper course of action. Wrongful death lawsuits, while complicated, are worth exploring if your lawyer believes you have a valid claim. You don’t need to go through this alone; a lawyer can remove some of the burdens.
Source: NY Daily News, “Anton Yelchin’s’ parents to file wrongful death lawsuit,” Tobias Salinger, August 1, 2016