The family of deceased actor Anton Yelchin recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler alleging the automaker knew the dangers the electronic transmission shift installed in its vehicles but did nothing to fix the problem. Yelchin was only 27 when he passed away June 19, 2016 after the Jeep Cherokee he just exited slipped out of gear, pinning him to a brick wall as it rolled backwards.
The grieving family issued a statement, insisting Fiat Chrysler would be held responsible in front of a jury and court for its negligent design of the Jeep which killed him. In a statement, the family excoriated Fiat Chrysler claiming the company “put profits before safety.”
As The Cochran Firm, D.C. previously reported, Yelchin’s Jeep was likely part of a massive nationwide recall of similar vehicles blamed for hundreds of crashes and fires and dozens of serious injuries. Unfortunately for Yelchin, the recall notice for his vehicle came a week after his tragic passing.
While Fiat Chrysler released a statement expressing sympathy to Yelchin’s surviving family and urged consumers to follow the advice they receive in their vehicle recall notices, those words alone cannot come close to repairing the damage done. Negligent behavior, as alleged in the Yelchin’s wrongful death lawsuit, must not be tolerated and the law prescribes remedy to victims and their families.
To that end, Yelchin’s family plans to seek punitive damages as they allege the conduct perpetrated by the automaker was willful and wanton. Punitive damages are a special type of compensation awarded to claimants to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior. These types of awards are very rare as the legal standard for their dispersal are quite high.
The auto products liability lawyers of The Cochran Firm, D.C. believe safety and security in one’s vehicle is vital to ensuring everyone on the road is put in the safest position possible. As software like that found in the defective Jeep Cherokee becomes more complex, proper safety and vetting measures become all the more important.
If you or a loved one were hurt in your vehicle due to defective auto parts or malfunction, contact our office for a free legal consultation about your case. Our team of investigators can help identify the causes of your injury and explore whether another party may be held liable for damages.
Call our office during business hours at 202-682-5800 or at 1-800-THE FIRM (843-3476) to reach us 24 hours a day. Strict time deadlines apply to filing defective vehicle injury claims so please contact us at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.