The parents of late actor Anton Yelchin plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit after he was found pinned between a brick pillar and security fence and his SUV in June, a report revealed Monday.
Investigators said the 27-year-old “Star Trek” actor was killed June 19 after his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled backward into him in the driveway of his home in Los Angeles’ Studio City area. Carmaker Fiat Chrysler had recalled the car months earlier and Jeep owners filed a $5 million class action lawsuit days after Yelchin’s death.
A lawyer for the family told TMZ they will sue Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, manufacturer ZF North America and car dealership chain AutoNation “for the wrongful death of their son due to significant defects” in the Jeep.
Yelchin starred as Chekov in the two most recent editions of the science fiction series, appearing posthumously in the current film “Star Trek Beyond.” He also served as the voice of Clumsy Smurf in the movie adaptations of “The Smurfs” after drawing notice in “Hearts in Atlantis” in 2001 and “Alpha Dog” in 2006.
Fiat Chrysler executives recalled 248,667 of its 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees voluntarily in April over a design error in its electronic gear shifter. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration linked 41 injuries, 212 crashes and 308 property damage claims to the affected models, a report by the agency showed.
Federal investigators had not blamed any deaths on the problem. Yet the class action lawsuit blamed the “dangerously defective” gear shifter and a lack of safety override for over 300 deaths, THR reported.
Medical examiners ruled Yelchin’s cause of death as blunt traumatic asphyixa and said the rising star actor’s death had been “rapid” when the Jeep crushed him against the pillar and the security gate, Yelchin’s death certificate showed.
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