This past June, Hollywood was shaken to the core when one its brightest stars tragically passed away. Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin died of injuries sustained when his SUV rolled down his driveway and pinned him against the security gate of his San Fernando Valley home in California.
A raw talent with incredible potential, the 27-year-old's passing sent ripples through the industry and left behind grieving co-stars, friends and loving family members. At the time, many took to social media to pay their respects as fans worldwide tried to fathom how such an accident could have occurred in the first place. Re-watch our tribute to the star below:
After nearly a month since Anton's parents lost their only child, the Yelchins finally broke their silence in a message published in The Hollywood Reporter. And now, it appears that they are also planning to sue the car manufacturer for punitive damages "for the wrongful death of their son due to significant defects" in his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
At the time of Anton's death, the vehicle was allegedly under recall for problems with the gear shifter, an on-going issue that often made drivers think their car was in park when it was actually in neutral. It is this manufacturing, and potentially catastrophic error, that Victor and Irina Yelchin want to dispute in court.
According to reports, they are going after Fiat Chrysler and ZF North America, as well as the AutoNation car retailer — all apparently involved in the manufacture of their son's car.
Ahead of the court proceedings however, there's a lingering awareness in Hollywood that this hasn't been the first time that a beloved personality has been ripped away from us as a result of a car malfunction.
Only last September 2015, Paul Walker's daughter Meadow sued Porsche for the wrongful death of her father in 2013. The claim was that the manufacturer had failed to properly equip the Porsche Carrera GT he was driving with the appropriate safety mechanisms, leaving him trapped in his seat.
Fast forward to last April 2016 and following intense investigation, a judge ruled that Porsche was not liable for the Furious 7 actor's devastating demise, or that of his friend Roger Rodas. The latter's wife, Kristine Rodas, had also filed a lawsuit against the car manufacturer, claiming that the drivers were not warned about the "substandard side impact protection" of the Carrera GT. Sadly however, all allegations were shut down.
So as the shitstorm surrounding the sudden death of Anton rages on, we can only wait and see what the outcome of the Yelchins' lawsuit will be and whether they will find some kind of justice for their son's death. Yet, although some kind of liability might be brought forward, one thing will always remain: The world has suffered the incredibly sad loss of an exceptionally talented young man.
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