Paul Walker’s Daughter Files Lawsuit Against Porsche
Meadow Rain Walker, the 16-year-old daughter of Paul Walker, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche. The lawsuit claims the Carrera GT Walker was riding in when he died had design flaws that made it unfit to be driven on the road. Walker’s lawsuit also claims the Porsche supercar “lacked safety features” that could have saved the life of her father and his friend, Roger Rodas, when the Carrera GT caught fire after hitting a pole back in November 2013. The crash and resulting fire burned Walker and Rodas.
Shortly after the filing of the lawsuit, Porsche responded by maintaining the Carrera GT’s innocence in the crash, pointing to the investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department that concluded that the crash that killed Walker resulted from “reckless driving and excessive speed.” The company did say that it had not reviewed the lawsuit, but declined making comments relating to the case.
Regardless of the validity of the lawsuit’s claims, it’s hard not to understand why Meadow Walker has filed it. She lost her father in a car that has earned a reputation for being impossible to drive despite the amount of technological features it had when it was launched in 2004. Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson compared the car’s handling to being on the “knife’s edge” during a review of the Carrera GT back in 2008.
On the flip side, Walker, Rodas, and everybody who has driven the Carrera GT know what the supercar is capable of. Proper caution should have been of utmost importance, especially if it was going to be driven out in public. The results of the investigation have already cleared Porsche and the Carrera GT from any responsibility, so it’s going to be interesting how this case moves forward.
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Why it matters
I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t speak expertly on Meadow Walker’s lawsuit against Porsche and how it’s going to hold up in court – if it even gets that far. What I can say is that she and her team are going full-steam ahead in contesting the results of the Sheriff Department’s investigation, going so far as to say that the car was “only” doing 63 to 71 mph, not the 100-mph-plus approximate cited by the investigation.
The lawsuit also accused Porsche of failing to fit the supercar with the proper safety features, including an electronic stability control system that would have specifically corrected the Carrera GT when Rodas lost control of the car. The suit even blamed the car’s seat belt design, which it says “trapped” Walker for 80 seconds before the car caught fire.
It’s a messy situation for all parties concerned and the spotlight will likely continue as we approach the second anniversary of Walker’s death in November 2015. I do think that Miss Walker’s lawsuit against Porsche will end in a settlement of some sort. High profile cases like this typical end this way because neither party would want to have this make the news longer than it should. For Meadow Walker, the longer this suit goes, the longer it will be for her to finally have some closure. For Porsche, it doesn’t need to be dealing with this, especially with parent company Volkswagen finding itself in huge mess of its own, albeit of its own doing. That’s too much negativity attached to the brand.
Read our full review on Carrera GT here.