Paul Walker death: Porsche cannot be held responsible for crash that killed Fast and Furious star, judge rules

Walker died when the car he was a passenger in crashed and burst into flames 

Heather Saul
Wednesday 06 April 2016 15:45 BST
Paul Walker
Paul Walker

A California judge has ruled Porsche cannot be held responsible for the accident that killed Paul Walker.

The Fast and Furious star was killed when the Porsche Carrera GT he was a passenger in hit a pole in California in 2013. The driver, his friend Roger Rodas, also died when the vehicle burst into flames. Walker was on a break from filming the seventh instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise at the time of the crash.

The US District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez ruled Kristine Rodas, Mr Rodas’ widow, had not proved her claims that her husband died because the vehicle he was driving was missing key safety features.

In her lawsuit, Rodas claimed the Porsche's suspension failed before the crash. Judge Gutierrez said there was no evidence for this claim. She also claimed the vehicle did not have a crash cage strong enough to withstand the impact and the fuel cell was compromised. These allegations were also denied by the judge.

“Plaintiff has provided no competent evidence that Rodas' death occurred as a result of any wrongdoing on the part of defendant,” Judge Gutierrez wrote in his ruling.

Walker’s teenage daughter Meadow and his father Paul William Walker III have also brought two cases against Porsche in the Los Angeles Supreme Court, both of which are still pending. This ruling does not affect their cases.

Meadow’s lawyer Jeff Milam claims that while Rodas was killed instantly in the crash, Walker was still alive when the vehicle burst into flames.

“Meadow will continue the fight to hold Porsche accountable for selling a defective product that kills,” he said in a statement.

Walker’s father said his son was planning on taking a break from Hollywood in order to spend more time with his daughter, the sole heir of his estate, before his death. “He would've swapped his Hollywood fame for the quiet life with Meadow," he said after his death. "Paul wasn't big on fame and preferred to live modestly.”

Porsche has denied wrongdoing in the design, manufacture or marketing of the Carrera GT. The company also contended claims detailed in Walker's daughter 's lawsuit that the car had been altered and improperly maintained, contributing to the crash.

The Independent has contacted a representative for Porsche for comment.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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