Meadow Walker, the daughter of late “Fast and Furious” star Paul Walker, has said she will move forward with her lawsuit against Porsche in spite of the automaker’s victory in court this week in a related case. According to an ABC news report, on Monday, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez ruled that there was not enough evidence to show that the Porsche Carrera GT, which Walker’s friend Roger Rodas was driving at the time of the fatal crash that took both their lives, lacked basic safety features that could have potentially saved the two men’s lives.
Update: As of 4/8/16, a $10.1 Million settlement from the estate of Rodas has just been disclosed. The money will be placed in a trust for Meadow Walker.
The case that the judge ruled on was filed by Rodas’s widow who claimed the car had a faulty suspension, lacked a racing fuel cell, and did not have a ‘racing cage’ meaning it could not withstand an impact from the side.
Car Lacked Safety Features
Walker was in the passenger seat of the Porsche when it crashed into a tree and burst into flames in Santa Clarita on November 30, 2013. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene. Meadow Walker’s attorney said Monday’s ruling on the Rodas case against Porsche will not affect her lawsuit against the automaker.
He said the judge’s decision was based more on the rejection of evidence due to missed deadlines and also because the lawsuit failed to identify the plaintiff as Porsche AG, the manufacturer. He said Meadow Walker plans to move forward with the lawsuit and is determined to hold Porsche AG accountable for selling a dangerous defective product.
Meadow Walker’s lawsuit cites the car’s 605-horsepower engine and top speed of 205 mph coupled with the car’s lack of safety features make it extremely dangerous. The lawsuit states that safety features commonly found in other vehicles such as an electronic stability control system could’ve saved Walker’s life. The lawsuit also alleges Walker was trapped in the burning vehicle because of the seatbelt design. Porsche alleged that Walker “knowingly assumed all risk.”
Safe Cars Save Lives
It remains to be seen how this high-profile product liability wrongful death case will play out in the courts. As auto defect lawyers, we know that safety features can save the lives of vehicle occupants. When a vehicle is not crashworthy, vehicle occupants face a heightened risk of catastrophic injury or even death. Automakers who market and sell dangerous and defective vehicles should be held accountable. We hope this case brings forth critical facts that could shed more light on the importance of making vehicles safer and more crashworthy.