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'Homeland'/'24' Exec Producer

Sued Over Fatal Car Wreck

1/2/2012 5:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Howard GordonHoward Gordon, the Executive Producer of  "Homeland" and "24" has been sued by the family of a man who was killed after Gordon's wife struck him with the family car.

Here's what we know ... Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Gordon's wife, Cambria, was driving in Santa Monica on July 20th when her cell phone fell off the seat onto the floor of the car. Cambria reached down to retrieve the phone when her car struck 83-year-old pedestrian William Howard Smerling. 

Smerling was taken to the hospital, where he hung on but died a month later. 

According to the lawsuit, Smerling had the right of way and Cambria was negligent by taking her eyes off the road. Howard is being sued because he's the registered owner of the car along with his wife. Under California law, the registered owners are responsible for the misdeeds of those who drive with their permission.

And law enforcement sources tell us ... Cambria will be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. The maximum penalty is 1 year in jail, but typically first offenders end up on probation.

In her favor ... our law enforcement sources tell us Cambria stopped immediately at the scene and acknowledged responsibility, and she's been fully cooperative and very remorseful.

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