Judge rejects Porsche’s responsibility in actor Paul Walker’s death

A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that automaker Porsche was not responsible for the November 2013 car crash that ended the lives of actor Paul Walker and a friend, the TMZ celebrity news Web site reported Tuesday.

District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez thus resolved the lawsuit filed in May 2014 against Porsche by the widow of Walker’s friend, who was driving the car in which the two men died while street racing.

Kristine Rodas, the widow of Roger Rodas, said there had been manufacturing and safety defects in the Porsche Carrera GT, but that argument was rejected by the judge as the cause of the crash that led to the men’s deaths.

The plaintiff argued that the passenger compartment was not sufficiently strong and that the vehicle was not designed to protect its occupants from a side impact, and there were also defects in the gas tank and the vehicle’s suspension.

The judge rejected all those claims saying that there was no evidence to support them.
In her complaint, the plaintiff said that the vehicle in which her husband and the film star were riding was traveling at 88 kilometers (55 miles) per hour at the time of the crash, while the police report on the accident said that it was traveling at between 128 kph and 150 kph (79 mph to 93 mph).

The Carrera GT, authorities said, was traveling at more than twice the legal speed limit and burst into flames after hitting a public light pole and a tree.

Walker, who achieved fame for his key role in the “Fast & Furious” action racing films, died on June 30, 2013, at age 40 from “trauma and burns,” according to the autopsy report published by the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office.

The actor’s daughter, Meadow Walker, also filed a lawsuit against Porsche in September 2015 contending that design defects caused the crash. That suit is still pending.

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