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Jeep Defect Sparks Lawsuit After Link to Star Trek Actor’s Death

I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Jeep Defect Sparks Lawsuit After Link to Star Trek Actor’s Death

A high-profile lawsuit has been brought against Fiat Chrysler over a defect that is linked to the death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin.

A lawsuit seeking class-action status has now been filed against the automaker over the shifter issue that may have led to the death of Yelchin and injuries to dozens of people.

The lawsuit was filed last week in California. It accuses Fiat Chrysler of failing to fix a defect that can allow its cars to move when their drivers believed their transmissions were in the "park" position.

Anton Yelchin may have died due to a Jeep dfect

Anton Yelchin

USA Today reported that Fiat Chrysler acknowledged the defect had been linked to 41 injuries when it made a recall in the spring. The death of Yelchin, who lost his life after his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down the driveway of his Los Angeles home and pinned him against a mail box, has given it added impetus.

Yelchin owned one of the vehicles that was subject to the recall, it has since been revealed. The death of the actor who played Chekov in the latest Star Trek movies, shocked Hollywood. However, it is yet to be disclosed if his death was linked to the defect.

The problem involves electronic shift levers that could return to the same position after a driver believed he or she had shifted back into neutral. The driver can’t tell merely by looking at the car if it’s in neutral and has to reply on indicator lights.

A lawsuit has been filed that claims Fiat Chrysler attempted to cover up the defect and failed to come up with a fix when it became known.  The suit involves a personal injury action as well as a recovery for diminished vehicle.  

The recall relates to 2012 to 2014 Dodge Chargers and Chryslers 300, 2014 as well as the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Fiat Chrysler has initiated a worldwide recall of 1.1 million cars but has not released details of a fix yet.

It’s not the first time in recent years that Fiat Chrysler has come under fire over a recall. Gas tanks at the rear of some SUVs have been linked to fires and more than 50 deaths. Although Chrysler recalled some of these older models of Jeeps over the defect, the company was accused of not going far enough as we noted here.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective car, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against a manufacturer. Our defective cars accidents team can help you. Call us for a free consultation at (757) 455.0077.


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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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