Porsche is not at fault for the crash that led to the deaths of Paul Walker IV and his friend Roger W. Rodas, ruled U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez on April 4.
The judge ruled in favor of Porsche in regards to a wrongful death lawsuit and a product liability lawsuit, brought about by Kristine M. Rodas, Rodas’ widow.
Walker, star of the “Fast & Furious” film franchise, and former race car driver Rodas, died in a fiery, one-car crash in Santa Clarita, Calif., on Nov. 30, 2013. The car was a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT.
Ms. Rodas filed the lawsuit, claiming it was the “absence of a crash cage, substandard side impact protection, failure of the suspension component,” and the “lack of a fuel cell,” that led to the death of her husband and Walker.
Gutierrez rejected all four claims, stating that the “plaintiff has provided no competent evidence that Rodas’ death occurred as a result of any wrongdoing on the part of defendant.”
While this specific suit only applies to Rodas, it could be a portent for the ruling on a wrongful death lawsuit that Walker’s daughter, Meadow Rain Walker, has filed against Porsche.
In response to the Walker family’s claim that the Porsche was traveling 63 mph to 71 mph—much slower than the 80 mph to 93 mph law enforcement officials reported—Porsche said the car in question was “abused and altered” by the vehicle’s owner, as well as “misused and improperly maintained.”