Back in June, actor Anton Yelchin died when his Jeep Grand Cherokee crushed him against his own brick mailbox after he thought he put it in park. It wasn’t in park. His parents then filed a wrongful death suit, blaming a faulty gear shift. In official documents, the Chrysler dealership responded. It wasn’t good.
The Valencia, CA Chrysler dealership filed its response to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Anton’s parents … listing a slew of reasons why it should not be on the hook for anything related to Anton’s fatal accident. Most damningly in the docs — the dealer says Anton’s death was the result of his own “misuse, misapplication, or damage” of the Jeep Grand Cherokee that rolled and crushed him. It’s not spelled out, but the dealer seems to be hinting Anton made aftermarket changes that damaged the SUV. The company also believes his parents didn’t preserve the vehicle as it was at the time of the accident … which would compromise critical evidence in the case. The dealership is asking the judge to cut them loose from the lawsuit.
I’m not a mechanic, but I can understand why a parent would try to blame literally anything for a child’s death except the child under circumstances like this, but there was a recall notice that Yelchin didn’t he have repaired. At the same time, a car manufacturer probably shouldn’t be in the habit of rolling out products that can kill you even if you’re not actually in it. All that said, some things are just freak accidents. Like The Chainsmokers having a hit song. Sometimes bad things happen.