Anton Yelchin's parents broke down in tears as they revealed their plans to sue Fiat Chrysler for the "wrongful death" of the son. Anton was just 27 when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled backwards down his driveway and crushed him against the gate of his home in Studio City, California.
Now Irina and Victor Yelchin have confirmed they are suing the manufacturer for punitive damages, stating that the vehicle's "significant defects" caused Anton's death.
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Irina and Victor Yelchin will sue Fiat Chrysler for the 'wrongful death' of their son
The couple bravely appeared at a press conference on Wednesday to announce their decision. "Anton was our only son and was a remarkable human being," Victor said. "He was very modest, very simple, very honest, generous, loving. It is wrong, it is against nature when parents bury their own child."
Irina said the couple had decided to speak "in spite of our unbelievable grief" to prevent others from enduring the same tragedy. "Anton never wanted anything for himself," she said. "He never cared about being a star. He just loved movies, us, his friends and he loved life very very much."
Victor Yelchin described Anton as a "remarkable human being"
She added that while her son was always special, "now he is very special, because his death may save other lives".
Tragically, the vehicle that killed Anton was recalled a few weeks before his fatal accident – and a letter to that effect arrived at Anton's home seven days after his death.
"The safety recall was way too little and way too late," said the family lawyer Gary Dordick, standing with the Yelchins in front of a portrait of their son. "We hope this lawsuit will teach them a lesson.
Heartbroken Irina said she hoped Anton's death would help save other lives
"This vehicle prior to Anton's death had over 700 rolling incidents, dozens of people injured that they knew about. The problem with the gear shift is that people mistakenly think it's in park, and there's no warning."
No monetary figure has been noted in the lawsuit, which will be decided by a jury trial. "The Yelchin family is (the automaker's) biggest nightmare, because they are not motivated by money," Mr Dordick said, adding that the family is seeking punitive damages because they believe Fiat Chrysler sold the car knowing it is defective. "They put profits before safety," he said.
Irina and Victor became the administrators of their son's estate on Friday in LA's Superior Court. The filing states that Anton left behind at least $641,000 in personal property and had $731,000 in equity in his home.