Harvey Weinstein sues Chrysler unit of Stellantis over 2019 Jeep crash

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Harvey Weinstein leaves New York Criminal Court after another day of jury deliberations in his sexual assault trial in the Manhattan borough of New York, New York, February 21, 2020. Image: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK — Former Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein, currently in jail after being convicted of sex crimes, sued U.S. company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday over a 2019 crash in which he flipped a Jeep Wrangler while driving. that he was trying to avoid a deer.

Weinstein is seeking $5 million in damages, saying the August 17, 2019 accident in Bedford, New York, left him “catastrophically injured and rendered paralyzed” with “significant and continuing conscious pain and suffering” from what his lawyer called “a severe spine”. and back injuries.

According to the lawsuit filed in a New York state court in Manhattan, Weinstein was wearing his seatbelt when the brakes on the 2017 Wrangler failed as he approached the deer, causing it to roll over.

Weinstein said defendant FCA US LLC, now owned by Stellantis, provided him with the “unreasonably dangerous” vehicle in exchange for product placement in one of his films.

Bedford is about 40 miles north of Manhattan.

“We intend to vigorously defend our product against these claims,” ​​Stellantis said in a statement.

Gary Kavulich, an attorney for Weinstein, disputed news reports suggesting his client was uninjured, saying Weinstein told authorities he was injured at the time of the accident.

“He’s in constant pain, it’s debilitating,” Kavulich said in a statement, adding that negotiations with the FCA to avoid a trial “took months and months.”

Weinstein, 70, is serving a 23-year prison sentence following his February 2020 jury conviction in Manhattan for sexual assault and rape.

A New York state appeals court upheld the conviction on Thursday.

The case remains the most high-profile lawsuit in the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct by prominent men.

Weinstein underwent back surgery in December 2019 and used a walker during the trial.

He is awaiting trial in Los Angeles for other alleged sex crimes from 2004 to 2013 and has pleaded not guilty. Weinstein has denied any non-consensual sexual encounters. PA

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