Hagens Berman Files Third Lawsuit Against Fiat Chrysler Over Defective Gear Shifter Citing Negligence and Fraudulent Concealment
BOSTON – Hagens Berman, a national consumer protection and personal injury law firm, filed a third lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler for its defective monostable shifters. The most recent case is on behalf of John J. Malone, a 69-year-old retired Massachusetts State Trooper, who was pinned against a concrete wall by his Jeep Grand Cherokee. The lawsuit states that Fiat Chrysler fraudulently concealed and failed to remedy a gear shifter design defect that has resulted in serious physical injury.
Mr. Malone, a father of two and grandfather of one, suffered a torn ACL, fractures and severe bruising to the bones of his knee. After being released from the hospital, he needed fluid drained from his knee three times. Due to the damage from the accident, he will need a total knee replacement.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, states that the defect has been responsible for at least 41 injuries. The defective shifter mechanism has been in the headlines following the death of actor Anton Yelchin, who was killed when his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway and pinned him against his brick mailbox.
If you own or lease a 2014 - 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, or 2012 - 2014 Chrysler 300 or Dodge Charger and have been injured by the car moving after the driver has gotten out of the car or attempted to put it in park, you may be entitled to compensation. Find out more about the lawsuit.
“In its 2012-14 Dodge Chargers and 2012-14 Chrysler 300s, and 2014-15 Jeep Grand Cherokees, FCA installed gear shifters, designed and manufactured by ZF Friedrichshafen AG, that departed from the long-established ‘PRND’ gear selector in favor of an electronic mechanism that never actually ‘shifts’ into any gear, but rather always moves back to a central location after being engaged,” the lawsuit states. “The ZF Shifter design is dangerously defective because there is no tactile or position feedback to the operator as to whether the car has actually been placed into the safe-to-exit ‘park’ gear, and there is no safety override that automatically puts the car in ‘park’ if the driver’s door is open and pressure taken off the foot brake.”
“Complaints and accident reports have been ongoing since at least early 2015,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “Jeep knew that the shifter was defectively designed and a danger to the the public. FCA could have prevented hundreds of accidents and at least one death by installing a safety override, but they simply chose not to.”
Though approximately 700 incidents have been reported, FCA has only recently initiated a voluntary recall of the more than 811,000 defective vehicles in the United States. Many owners of the affected vehicles have only been sent a letter describing the defect.
Concerned consumers who own or lease an affected vehicle, and have been injured by the car moving after the driver gets out or attempts to put the gear selector in “park”, are encouraged to contact a Hagens Berman attorney by emailing [email protected] or calling 1-888-381-2889. Find out more about the lawsuit.
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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a national consumer protection and personal injury law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.