Anton Yelchin’s parents spoke out after filing a wrongful death and product liability lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler automobiles in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday.
“Anton was our only son and was a remarkable human being,” said the actor’s father, Victor Yelchin, at a media conference with his wife, Irina, and their lawyer. “It is wrong, it is against nature when parents bury (their) own child.”
The 27-year-old actor, seen in Star Trek Beyond, was killed by his own car June 19 as he left his home in Studio City, Calif., for a rehearsal. Police said it appeared Yelchin had momentarily exited his Jeep Grand Cherokee, leaving it in his driveway. The car, which was subject to a recall from Fiat Chrysler, rolled back down the steep driveway, pinning him against a brick mailbox pillar and security fence.
Los Angeles County medical examiner spokesman Ed Winter confirmed Yelchin’s death was accidental, the result of “blunt traumatic asphyxia.”
“The safety recall was way too little and way too late,” said the family’s lawyer Gary Dordick, standing with the Yelchins in front of a portrait of Anton. “We hope this lawsuit will teach them a lesson.”
The actor’s SUV was part of a global recall of 1.1 million vehicles by automaker Fiat Chrysler.
Dordick said a May recall notice sent out by the car company regarding the defect wasn’t found in the actor’s possession, and a second letter was mailed to Yelchin’s home seven days after his death.
“This vehicle prior to Anton’s death had over 700 rolling incidents, dozens of people injured that they knew about,” said Dordick. “The problem with the gear shift is that people mistakenly think it’s in park and there’s no warning.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Andrea Mandell and Kimiya Manoochehri