More Litigants Claiming 'Rollover' Injuries Join Parade of Fiat Chrysler Rollaway Lawsuits

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
more litigants claiming rollover injuries join parade of fiat chrysler rollaway

With so many class action lawsuits leveled against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over their troublesome Monostable shift lever, coordinating all of them has become a problem.

According to The National Law Journal, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi­district Litigation will meet on September 29 to figure out how to juggle all of the lawsuits. Just in the past week, FCA has been hit with two more suits from people claiming they were injured while trying to stop their vehicles from rolling away.

The risk posed by the rollaway of certain FCA products became clear after the death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin last June. After two years of complaints, FCA recalled a total of 1.1 million Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler vehicles in April to address the issue. About 811,000 of them are registered in the U.S.

The National Law Journal reports that the latest suits were filed in federal courts in New Hampshire and Virginia. Already, FCA faces about a dozen class action suits. The litigants in the most recent suits, like many of the others, claim their vehicle rolled over them as they tried to stop its unpiloted movements. Both vehicles were 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokees, the same model that Yelchin drove (though his was a 2015 model).

A very familiar law firm is handling those cases.

“Where the serious injuries are happening is when people get in the car and try to wrestle it to a stop,” Steve Berman, managing partner of Seattle’s Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, told the publication. His firm filed the new suits along with Bailey & Glasser.

FCA claims the recall has turned many of the suits into moot points. Referring to suits seeking compensation for lowered resale values, FCA spokesperson Michael Falese told NLJ, “Allegations that their resale value is somehow diminished by a recall are completely unsubstantiated.”

In addition to the varied suits, FCA faces a wrongful death lawsuit from Yelchin’s parents.

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  • PushrodPat PushrodPat on Sep 22, 2016

    It sickens me that people are blaming the shifter for their carelessness. Is it the best design? Maybe not.....but that doesn't excuse people from taking the 5 seconds required to make sure it's in park. Then again again the same people suing are likely the same ones twittering at 85 mph on the highway about how everyone else is such a terrible driver.

    • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Sep 23, 2016

      The ones twittering at 85 in a blizzard because they can - they have 4wd! Then they get a physics lesson and complain that 4wd doesn't work.

  • GabIta GabIta on Sep 26, 2016

    This kind of news bring me to "I do not want to live on this planet anymore" level. Maybe FCA is not used to be pursued for such things, since every European court would laugh at any suits such as "I did not put my car in park mode because the shifter is unclear, so I have to be refunded". I perfectly understand that US common law is completely different than civil law one used in most of the EU, but I honestly think things went a bit too far since they had to put labels on coffee cups with "caution: hot" written on them ...

    • Old Man Pants Old Man Pants on Sep 26, 2016

      "I do not want to live on this planet anymore" Don't blane the planet for the behavior of its parasites. However, I *would* appreciate a softer, more diffuse light source. I mean, c'mon Dog, we struggling, distractable humans invented softboxes 100 years ago. Surely with all the resources of the physical universe at Your disposal You could have done better than a single blinding spotlight.

  • ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • ToolGuy Nice website you got there (even the glitches have glitches)
  • Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."
  • Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
  • Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.