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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.

66 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

TMZ_Admin    

Early to bed and early to rise, make a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

974 days ago
2.

Hyde    

I feel badly for the man's family and the man himself, but this was an accident. The driver clearly feels terrible. If every accident were a sue-able offense, 90% of the people in this country would have to be lawyers. I can't help thinking the man's family saw dollar signs when they learned whose wife hit the man.

974 days ago
3.

Kelster    

totally agree. i have a feeling this case is more about $$ then pain n suffering.

974 days ago
4.

ManiacalZebra    

Probation for killing someone doesn't seem much like justice.

974 days ago
5.

Draax    

Put your damn cell phones away while you are driving. I hope it was worth it, for this women, to have killed someone because she was too concerned about her cellphone.

Zero tolerance for those who put others at risk, by driving while distracted on their phones.

974 days ago
6.

JDUB    

It's not an accident when you take your eyes off the road just to retrieve a cell phone, that is gross negligence, as well as homicide. Every time I see an erratic driver that looks like they're driving drunk, drifting into the other lane, driving way too slow, or other weirdness, I look in the car and it's a woman on her cell phone.

974 days ago
7.

daRock    

Well, if the dude who got run over, of if ANYONE is his family was a Lilo H8r, then he deserved it. good riddance.

974 days ago
8.

ocamai    

#@^%*(! enablers..look at the first two real comments and both of them (Hyde and Kelster) are talking like "its just an accident..." The bitch was reaching down for her PHONE. What the hell is going wrong in this world. Self importand ******** and gotta have their phone and screw the rest of the world if I do something wrong. WTH is this place coming to?

974 days ago
9.

mebrat24    

we don't need a law banning cell phone use in cars, and how important was it to get the phone off the floor of her car while she was driving down the road? Ask the dead guy.

974 days ago
10.

UPYOURS    

"stopped immediately at the scene and acknowledged responsibility, and she's been fully cooperative and very remorseful." So that excuses the fact that stupidity killed the man and she should be left alone, no charges or consequences? BS.

974 days ago
11.

She's baaaack    

Whoa, that guy looks like that Cowar guy who used to be a football coach

974 days ago
12.

Dan    

If I drove in traffic with my cellphone and fondled it and used it at the same time, I would acknowledge that this is "ultrahazardous" behavior warranting strict liability and a minimum 10 years in prison. It's like transporting nuclear waste. Poop is gonna happen.

974 days ago
13.

UNLEVINED HARVEY    

get that checkbook out

974 days ago
14.

Missy    

The law Sure needs to be changed. You can kill someone for being so irresponsible & only serve a year, or worse, probation? Those people could never be compensated. The damn cell phones need to stay out of every vehicle. How many deaths & injuries would be avoided if no texting & calling.

974 days ago
15.

joejava68    

DUMB A$$ED RAG!

974 days ago
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