Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sued Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday over the fallout of his 2019 rollover accident in what he describes as an “unreasonably dangerous” Jeep.
Filed in New York County Supreme Court, the $5 million lawsuit relates to Weinstein becoming “catastrophically injured” and “rendered paralyzed” after his Jeep Wrangler rolled over in the town of Bedford, New York on Aug. 17, 2019.
“Weinstein was driving the Vehicle on Bedford Center Road when, in attempt to avoid a deer, the Vehicle failed to decelerate despite Weinstein’s application of the Vehicle’s braking system which resulted in a loss of vehicle control and subsequent rollover of the vehicle,” the 15-page complaint states.
“At the time of the incident, Weinstein was properly seated in the Vehicle’s front passenger seat and was properly wearing the seat belt,” it continues.
Months later, a Manhattan jury convicted him of one count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree against former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and another for rape in the third degree against former actress Jessica Mann. Weinstein has been serving a 23-year sentence, which a New York appellate court upheld earlier this month.
In that ruling, a five-judge panel unanimously disagreed with Weinstein’s proposition that his trial required “heightened” caution admitting potential prejudicial evidence because the “#MeToo movement” generated a tsunami of negative media coverage.
His appeal lodged a number of complaints about the proceedings, including about a juror, an expert witness and the judge. But Weinstein’s legal team took special aim about testimony related to uncharged allegations of sexual misconduct. Here, the panel found that, while not directly relevant to his indictment, such testimony was permissible.
“In other words, the People proposed to show through the uncharged acts evidence that defendant’s goal at all times was to position the women in such a way that he could have sex with them, and that whether the women consented or not was irrelevant to him,” the June 2 ruling stated.
Weinstein also faces a pending trial in California, where he stands accused of assaulting five women in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013.
His civil lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler alleges four causes of actions, including strict products liability, manufacturer’s negligence, breach of warranty, and owner’s negligence.
“The Vehicle was defective and unreasonably dangerous to the ultimate users, operators or consumers, including Weinstein, when it was designed, manufactured, tested, assembled, marketed, distributed, and sold by Chrysler,” the complaint states.
Weinstein said that he’s suffered “severe, permanent, painful and debilitating injuries”—and seeks punitive damages.
“As a direct result of Chrysler’s tortious conduct […] Weinstein suffered catastrophic, permanent paralyzing injuries, as well as significant and continuing conscious pain and suffering,” the complaint states.
Weinstein is represented by attorney Gary Kavulich from Kavulich & Associates in Port Chester, N.Y.
In his California case, Weinstein is expected back in court on June 10, when the judge is reportedly expected to set a trial date, according to USA Today. That trial is reportedly slated to feature 10 accusers.
Read the lawsuit, below:
(Photo via TIMOTHY A. CLARY-AFP via Getty Images)
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]