The driver was to blame in the fiery crash of a Porsche sports car that killed actor Paul Walker in California in 2013, not design defects with the car, attorneys for the German automaker said this week.
Paul Walker was a passenger in a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by Roger Rodas, who lost control of the vehicle before it careened into trees and a utility pole in Santa Clarita, northwest of Los Angeles, killing both men.
Rodas’ widow, Kristine Rodas, sued Porsche Cars North America, saying her husband was an experienced driver and a defect with the vehicle caused the crash. Authorities ruled the crash was caused by excessive speed and not a mechanical failure.
Lawyers for Porsche said in a response filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District in California:
Roger Rodas’ death, and all other injuries or damages claimed, were the result of Roger Rodas’ own comparative fault Roger Rodas chose to conduct himself in a manner so as to expose himself and others to such perils, dangers and risks.
The lawsuit claims experts have determined a suspension failure in the right rear wheel area of the sports car caused the car’s rear end to swing to the left, sending the vehicle out of control. It also claims the Carrera GT was initially designed as a race car and should have had safety features like a crash cage and a racing fuel cell that could have kept it from catching fire.
Porsche denied that the model had any defects and said they believed the vehicle was “abused and altered” after being purchased in a way the company could not have foreseen, and that could have been a factor in the accident.
Walker’s death in November 2013 at the age of 40 led to a temporary halt in production of “Fast & Furious 7“, the latest movie in the successful series about illegal street racing that helped popularize his career. The movie is set to open on Friday (3rd April).
Sources: CNA, NBC.