Paul Walker’s daughter has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche, claiming the sports car he was riding was poorly built.
Meadow Walker, the daughter of the Fast and Furious star, filed a civil lawsuit against the German car manufacturer on Monday. Meadow, the only child and sole heir of Walker’s estate, seeks unspecified damages from the fiery car crash that her father was involved in two years ago.
The 16-year-old filed the claim in Los Angeles Superior Court, and states that Walker was killed because Porsche, maker of the 2005 Carrera GT sports car that crashed, skimped on “safety features that are found on well-designed racing cars or even Porsche’s least expensive road cars.”
The lawsuit claims that the seat belts were poorly designed. The suit states that when the car was impacted, the shoulder belt anchors “traveled with the rear engine compartment while the seat belt anchors remained with the passenger compartment. This snapped Walker’s torso back with thousands of pounds of force, thereby breaking his ribs and pelvis, flattening his seat and trapping him.”
Both the 40-year-old Walker and Roger Rodas, the 38-year-old professional race car driver who was driving at the time, were burned beyond recognition after the car smashed into a concrete lamppost and a tree on November 30, 2013.
Kristin Rodas, the widow of Roger Rodas, has also sued Porsche earlier this year under the same claim that the vehicle’s design was flawed.
In March 2014, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department inspectors and California Highway Patrol concluded that it was high speeds (Between 80 and 93 mph on a road where the speed limit was 45 mph), and not mechanical failure, that were responsible for the tragic accident. “No pre-existing conditions that would have caused this collision,” the report stated.
However the lawsuit suggests that the Porsche was traveling much slower, “at approximately 63 to 71 mph when it suddenly went out of control.”
The suit claims that the doors on the Porsche used “side door reinforcement bars that lacked adequate welds and consisted of material weaker in strength than what is used in popular mass-market cars … designed and built to be operated at speeds much slower than the Carrera GT.”
The lawsuit also suggests that the fire was caused by another design flaw — “rubber fuel lines that lacked break-free fittings to automatically” shut off the flow of fuel.
The court document suggests that the 2005 Carrera GT should have come with an electronic stability control system to protect against swerving.
The lawsuit claims that Walker remained alive and “in a supine position” until the vehicle burst into flames 80 seconds later. The autopsy revealed “scant soot” in Walker’s trachea, suggesting he died before the smoke and fire engulfed the car.
The report said that Walker suffered fractures of his left jawbone, collarbone, pelvis, ribs and spine.
Rodas was also described as in “a pugilistic,” or defensive position. Rodas “rapidly died of severe blunt head, neck and chest trauma,” the report said.
“The bottom line is that the Porsche Carrera GT is a dangerous car. It doesn’t belong on the street,” Walker’s attorney, Jeff Milam, said in a statement. “And we shouldn’t be without Paul Walker or his friend, Roger Rodas.”
“Absent these defects in the Porsche Carrera GT, Paul Walker would be alive today,” the lawsuit declares.
Porsche has yet to comment on the recent lawsuit, but did respond to the lawsuit brought upon by Rodas. In April, a company spokesman said the “crash was the subject of a detailed investigation by proper authorities.” The investigation, the spokesman added, “disproves the allegations in the lawsuit.”