Actor Anton Yelchin died in an accident involving its Jeep Grand Cherokee. The incident was widely reported, and news reports claiming that the defect that triggered the accident had already been associated with hundreds of other crashes were widely shared.
Now, the actor’s parents have decided to not let their son’s death to be forgotten. Instead, they are suing Fiat Chrysler, the company that manufactures the Jeep Grand Cherokee, claiming that the action could help to prevent needless deaths.
In the lawsuit, the family’s attorney claims that the young actor suffered alive for some time while pinned by his car before suffocating to death. The wrongful death lawsuit claims the company has manufactured unsafe gear selectors, making it responsible for Yelchin’s death. The incident happened when the vehicle rolled down his driveway, pinning him between the mailbox and the security fence.
The company did not comment on the lawsuit.
The vehicle responsible for Yelchin’s death was one out of 1.1 million cars recalled in April. The campaign was launched after the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated the model’s connection with 266 crashes. At least 68 people had been injured prior to the campaign.
The family appears to have made the decision to sue to the company so other families can be spared the suffering they are going through at this moment. It’s their belief that the company put their profits before safety, which led to the tragic accident that killed their son.
Yelchin was first alerted about the recall campaign in May when he received the first noticed. The second notice came just seven days after he was killed. The second notice claimed the company had a fix for the issue.
According to his parents, the notices were too little, too late.
This story might be ragic and unnecessary, but hopefully, it may inspire others to avoid letting automakers off the hook. When negligent companies put their profit before the safety and well being of their consumers, the consequences can be disastrous.
Our hearts go out to the actor’s family.
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