The parents of Anton Yelchin, the 27-year-old actor killed in a freak accident last month at his California home, are now planning to sue the companies they feel are responsible for their son's death. An attorney for Yelchin's parents reportedly told TMZ Monday they are seeking punitive damages for the "wrongful death of their son" due to "significant defects" on his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The actor, known for his performances in the Star Trek franchise and the cult classic Charlie Bartlett, was killed June 19 at his Studio City home when the vehicle "slide backwards and pinned him against a brick pillar and a security fence," CNN reported. "It appears that he momentarily left his car, leaving it in the driveway," a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson said. "He was behind the vehicle when it rolled backward and pinned him to the brick pillar causing the trauma that led to his death."
The new suit, according to TMZ, seeks punitive damages from Jeep Grand Cherokee maker Fiat Chrysler, manufacturer ZF North America, and car retailer AutoNation. A similar class action suit was filed against Fiat last month, alleging that the vehicle's ZF Shifter was prone to malfunctioning and deceiving drivers into believing it was in the park position. "One of the most basic safety features in every car is the gear shifter that causes a stationary car to remain stationary, unless and until an operator wants the car to move," that suit asserted, as quoted by the Hollywood Reporter.
Following Yelchin's tragic death, Hollywood united to share their memories of his brief but illustrious acting career. "You were brilliant," J.J. Abrams, who directed Yelchin in Star Trek in 2009, said in a handwritten letter posted to Twitter. "You were kind. You were funny as hell, and supremely talented. And you weren't here nearly long enough."
RIP Anton Yelchin.