Paul Walker, the actor best known for his recurring roles in the Fast and the Furious movie franchise, died in a car crash on November 30, 2013. He and the driver, Roger Rodas, both lost their lives while driving in a Porsche Carrera GT. In March 2014, investigators determined that, at the time of impact, the vehicle was traveling between 80 and 93 MPH in a 45 MPH zone. Reckless driving and excessive speeds were blamed for the fatal accident.
Despite official findings, a lawsuit was initiated in September 2015 against the company by Paul Walker’s daughter, 16 year old Meadow Walker. She alleges that Porsche was aware of many missing safety features, such as side door reinforcements and defective rubber fuel lines.The specific vehicle Mr. Walker was a passenger in at the time of his death was known to have issues with stability and control as well. The court documents note the availability of an electronic stability control device to protect against swerving at high speeds. This device was not installed in the vehicle Mr. Walker died in, and may have prevented or lessened the severity of the accident. The lawsuit also alleges that problems with the seat belt mechanism made it impossible for the famous actor to escape the burning car after the initial crash. Both passengers were wearing seat belts at the time of impact, and there is evidence that both airbags were deployed.
The lawsuit also claims that the estimated speed of the car was incorrect, and that the vehicle was likely traveling between 63 and 71 MPH when the driver lost control. Investigators hired by the Walker family believe that the car may have been moving between 40 and 60 MPH.
Following the accident, the Carrera GT was examined by experts from Porsche, as well as the tire company Michelin. No issues were found with the car itself.
In recently revealed court documents, Porsche claims that Mr. Walker and his driver both accepted all risks and responsibility by choosing to enter the vehicle. They also claim that the vehicle may have been modified, which could have contributed to the tragedy.
Meadow Walker’s lawyer, Jeff Milam, claims that Porsche is attempting to side step responsibility by victim blaming. He also insists that the car is too dangerous to be street legal.
To memorialize her father, Meadow has created the Paul Walker Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to honor Mr. Walker’s legacy by protecting the world’s oceans and wildlife.