Parents of Star Trek actor to sue over his SUV death

The parents of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin have sued the makers of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, an SUV that was under recall when it crushed and killed the 27-year-old.

Victor and Irina Yelchin filed the wrongful-death and product-liability lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler in Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday, around six weeks after their son was killed.

It contends that the gear selector in the actor’s Jeep was defective and poorly designed and manufactured.

“Anton Yelchin was crushed and lingered alive for some time, trapped and suffocating until his death,” the lawsuit says.

It does not say how much Mr Yelchin’s parents are seeking in damages.

The actor’s Jeep rolled backwards down the driveway of his Los Angeles home on June 19, pinning him between a letterbox and a security fence.

The SUV was among 1.1 million vehicles recalled in April because its gear shifters have confused drivers, causing the vehicles to roll away unexpectedly and leading to dozens of injuries.

The lawsuit says Mr Yelchin’s SUV did not engage or maintain its ‘park’ gear and that led to the vehicle crushing the actor.

Mr Yelchin is perhaps best known for his role as Pavel Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek franchise.

The third film in the series, Star Trek Beyond, has grossed more than €95m (€106m) in the US in its first two weekends. The actor was the Yelchins only son, and they filed on Friday to oversee his estate, which is valued at nearly $1.4m.

Mr Yelchin left behind several unreleased projects, including the Netflix animated series Trollhunters and four films.


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