Daughter of Actor Paul Walker Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Porsche
Meadow Walker, the 16-year-old daughter of actor Paul Walker, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche for contributing to her father’s death.
Paul Walker is most famous for his recurring role in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise.
Walker died in a high-speed car accident in Hollywood in November 2013. His death has been attributed to driving too fast for conditions, although the race was part of a charity event for Reach Out Worldwide, and Walker was only a passenger, the vehicle was driven by his friend, Roger Rodas. Los Angeles County Police said that the vehicle was moving between 80 and 93 miles per hour when it collided with a power pole.
Walker’s daughter, however, claims in her wrongful death lawsuit that the Porsche Carrera GT is marketed as a legal street-racing car and should have been able to handle the road conditions and high speeds. Unfortunately, the vehicle, contrary to its marketing, lacked race car standard stability control systems and safe guards, which in other racing vehicles protects occupants from injury in a high-speed collision.
Meadow Walker’s lawsuit claims that Walker survived the crash, but the restraint system broke his ribs and pelvis. He was then trapped in the vehicle. “Paul Walker survived the impact of the crash that took his life but suffered horrifically as he was burned alive,” the wrongful death lawsuit claims.
Contrary to Meadow Walker’s claims, the Los Angeles County Police investigators found that high speeds in the crash caused Walker to die on impact. However, they came to this conclusion after consulting with Porsche regarding the make and model of the vehicle.
“The vehicle lacked safety features that are found on well-designed racing cars or even Porsche’s least expensive road cars – features that could have prevented the accident or, at a minimum, allowed Paul Walker to survive the crash,” Walker’s wrongful death lawsuit continues.
Meadow Walker’s wrongful death lawsuit claims that design flaws arose in the street-racing model vehicle because Porsche made changes to materials in order to save money and weight on the vehicle. For example, the side reinforcement bars, which help create the rumble cage to protect the vehicle’s occupants, were made of weaker, lighter materials in more common road cars like the Honda Civic. The wrongful death lawsuit also claims that the fuel hose lacked proper fittings, which caused the hose to break free and start the fire in the first place. The seatbelt was improperly mounted so that the shoulder belt yanked away, causing injury-inducing torsion in Walker’s body, but the anchor belt remained in place. The car fractured on impact.
In addition, the wrongful death lawsuit claims that Porsche knew about design flaws but failed to install a proper control system to address the issues. Paul Walker’s widow filed a similar lawsuit last year in federal court, but Porsche denied that there were any mechanical problems with the Carrera GT at the time.