The parents of late actor Anton Yelchin have spoken out after filing a wrongful death and product liability lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this week, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Anton was our only son and was a remarkable human being. It is wrong, it is against nature when parents bury their own child,” Victor Yelchin, Anton’s father, said at a media conference.
The 27-year-old actor, who was most recently a part of the highly successful and popular film, Star Trek Beyond, was killed by his own vehicle June 19th, 2016 when he left his California home for rehearsal. According to the police report, Yelchin had exited his Jeep Grand Cherokee, leaving it parked in his driveway. The car, which was subject for a recall from Fiat Chrysler, started to roll down the steep driveway, and pinned Yelchin against a brick pillar and security fence. Los Angeles County medical examiners determined that Yelchin’s death was accidental and was caused by “blunt traumatic asphyxia.”
The actor’s SUV was included in a global recall of 1.1 million vehicles by Fiat Chrysler. Gary Dordick, the family’s lawyer says that a May recall notice sent out by the car company to notify the public of the recall wasn’t found in Yelchin’s possession, and a second letter was mailed to Yelchin’s home seven days after he had died. “The safety recall was way too little and way too late,” said Dordick. “We hope this lawsuit will teach them a lesson.”
Dordick also said that the type of vehicle Yelchin was driving had over 700 rolling incidents and dozens of people injured, but there was a lack of response from the automaker. “The problem with the gear shift is that people mistakenly think it’s in park and there’s no warning,” Dordick explained. A government investigation into the gear shift found 266 crashes which injured 68 people, as of late June 2016.
The Detroit Free Press reported that at the time of Yelchin’s death, Fiat Chrysler extended it’s “most sincere condolences” to his family and friends. However, on Tuesday, the Yelchins said the company had not directly apologized for the incident. Within an hour of the family’s press conference, Fiat Chrysler sent out another statement:
“We extend our sympathies to the Yelchin family for their tragic loss. The company has not been served with a lawsuit and cannot comment further at this time. FCA US urges customers to follow the instructions in their owners manuals and the information cards sent with their recall notices. These instructions include advising customers to set the parking brakes in their vehicles before exiting.”
Car defects and malfunctions can cause drivers to lose complete control of their vehicle, which can put their lives and the lives of others at risk. Therefore, any notices of recalls should be evaluated seriously. It is important to make sure that your car dealer or the maker of your automobile has your most current address, to ensure that you receive notification of any recalls in the mail. If you or somebody you know has been injured in a car accident which was caused by a car defect, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys will work alongside you to get you the help you need, including any reimbursement for medical services, wage loss, or pain and suffering that you may be entitled to under Michigan law. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.