By on November 27, 2015

Paul Walker’s father, acting on behalf of the late-actor’s estate, filed a lawsuit against Porsche this week for failing to include safety features, such as stability control, side impact protectors and a fuel-line cutoff that the family said could have saved the actor’s life in a crash, the Associated Press reported.

The 2005 Porsche Carrera GT lacked basic safety features to protect Walker in his fatal crash in November 2013, the wrongful death lawsuit alleges. A similar lawsuit was filed against Porsche by Walker’s widow and daughter in September. Porsche has denied wrongdoing in those lawsuits.

According to the report, Porsche said this month that the car Walker was riding in while Roger Rodas was driving — which spun out of control, hit three trees and burst into flames — had been modified and improperly maintained. Walker was “a knowledgeable and sophisticated user of the 2005 Carrera GT,” the company wrote in response to the lawsuit.

Walker’s estate is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit.

According to court documents, Walker’s family said the Porsche was traveling between 63 and 71 mph — not more than 94 mph, which investigators say caused the accident. An investigation by the California State Highway Patrol and Porsche blamed excessive speed for the crash.

Walker was taking a break from filming “Fast and Furious 7” when he died in the car crash. The film franchise is the most successful and profitable series in history of Universal film studios.

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56 Comments on “Paul Walker’s Father Suing Porsche For Actor’s Death...”

  • avatar

    Sounds like legally forcing lowest common denominator mindset to society in the pursuit of $$$.

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque

    For once, I see the value of a defamation lawsuit. Porsche suing the Walker family for $100M in damages ought to bomb them back to the food stamps lifestyle.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “According to court documents, Walker’s family said the Porsche was traveling between 63 and 71 mph — not more than 94 mph”

    Oh, well then that makes all the difference. Sue away.

    The salient points for me are:
    1. Driver lost control while:
    a) driving illegally
    b) outside his skill set
    c) on a public road
    d) resulting in a crash that no car company is or should be required to engineer for.

    I drove my Versa off an overpass because I was trying to unwrap a cheeseburger and steer with my knees! Why didn’t Nissan design it to save me in such a situation?!
    Lawyers in the B&B, what am I missing here?

  • avatar

    What street legal vehicle can withstand hitting 3 trees at between 63 and 71 miles per hour?

  • avatar

    A car not driven by an unqualified driver, in a manner not intended, would also not have spun not any trees.

  • avatar

    Grief can do strange things to a mind.

    I hope this lawsuit does not fritter away the lion’s shre of the late actor’s estate.

  • avatar

    “Wah, wah, wah, it’s somebody else’s fault.” ‘Murican Cry of Freedom, 2016 edition.

  • avatar

    IIRC, Graham Rahal owned this very car and sold it because it was difficult to drive.

    The CGT is fairly notorious for being unforgiving of mistakes.

  • avatar

    Trying to find something significant or lamentable here, the best I can do is:

    Imagine how many Middle Eastern oil princelings would by now have sent themselves to allah had there been any trees where they cavort.

  • avatar

    A drunk woman’s estate sued Porsche and I think won initially at least because the brake pedal was defective. Didn’t matter that Mario Andretti couldn’t take that corner at the speed she was trying. Oh yea the fact that she was drunk was not admissable because she pleaded “no contest” to drunken driving. Lawyers, guns and money.

    • 0 avatar

      But…the insane precedent has already been set…many times.
      There have been successful law suites where a passenger has sued a manufacturer for damages even though they were not wearing seat-belts.
      Life time smokers are allowed to sue, an have won, for lung cancer.
      Even if they started and continued smoking after they knew the dangers.
      If we allowed this, then any ridiculous manipulation of logic and justice should be expected.
      Even when law enforcement does go past the restraints expected, the original illegal activity of the offended is totally ignored.Just the PC is magnified and highlighted or the legal loophole.

  • avatar

    Loser. Gold-digger. But then again, we’ve all seen juries make dumb decisions.

  • avatar

    “. . . We will show that Porsche used mind control to coerce Mr. Walker’s friend into driving like a complete idiot, and is therefore at fault for his decision to drive like a complete idiot.”

  • avatar
    Wagon Of Fury

    Car had at least two original 9 year old tires

    • 0 avatar

      I remembered the tire thing and was going to mention it. It seems like Porsche has pretty easy evidence for neglected maintenance on top of irresponsible and illegal use. I don’t see how they end up on the hook for any liability here, but I’m no lawyer.

      • 0 avatar

        There is no case, but these things are unfortunately not decided on the merits, it’s how much Porsche wants to spend litigating it and the bad publicity. Plus the wildcard of getting a judge that decides to go off the reservation.

        Many companies make the decision that it’s cheaper to be shaken down than it it to stand up for what is right. So the cycle continues.

        People used to have a sense of shame and ridiculous lawsuits were few and far between, but that’s no longer the case.

  • avatar

    No amount of activism will bring the dead back, and something tells me that Paul Walker wasn’t the sort who would’ve been pleased that his family was crusading for numbed-and-dumbed-down cars in his name.

  • avatar

    By that same logic, my widow could sue speedo if I drowned wearing their swimming trunks?!

  • avatar

    No, but Thom’s wife would file for divorce out of embarrassment if she caught Thom strutting on a beach in Japan in Speedos.

  • avatar

    Porsche needs to stand its ground, the Walkers/Rodas are making this sound like this car had just come down from the assembly line, this car is a 2005 Carrera GT, and if we recall very carefully, the story was that as the charity was winding down and the cars were being put back in the garage, Roger Rodas and the crew notices that the car was stalling so Roger decided to take it for an observation spin and Paul Walker went for the ride along.

    As per Jim Torp, the car was recently purchased and also had been resold

    It is also evident that this car had several owners so who knows what kind of condition it was in and how much work was done to the car from the original owner

    The report says that the fire was very intense across all the five lanes, but Antonio Holmes made it to the car, through the fire and could not remove the seat belt, well what happens to metal in heat?

    The list goes on and on and this does not even includes the speed factor, these are all facts stated in the original given statements.

    Leave all these factors out, the car had also depreciated and should not have been handled as a new toy

  • avatar
    King of Eldorado

    Based on what I know about this incident from the media, I too doubt if this lawsuit will succeed, but its success or failure will probably depend on the issue of foreseeability. That is, in product liability law, manufacturers are expected to foresee to some extent that their products might be misused.

    To take an extreme hypothetical example, suppose a manufacturer built a 300-hp car whose wheels fall off at 80 mph. If the wheels fall off someone’s car at 80 mph and that person sues, the manufacturer can point out that the speed limit at the relevant spot was only 75 mph, and argue that therefore it’s all the driver’s fault. This defense will almost certainly fail. It’s common knowledge that drivers exceed the speed limit by 5 mph, and the manufacturer is expected to take some measures to protect against this “misuse.” Depending on applicable law and other factors, the outcome might be assignment of fault on a percentage basis such as 80% manufacturer and 20% driver.

    I don’t know whether any of this applies to the Walker suit. Should Porsche be expected to foresee that someone would aggressively drive this demanding car with 9-year-old tires? If so, Porsche might bear some share of liability.

  • avatar

    The US needs Tort Reform, make it “loser pays” and watch all of these absurd lawsuits dry up over night.

  • avatar

    Two guys kill themselves by screwing around in a fast car. If the jury has any common sense, they will find for the defendants in 5 minutes.

    There was a similar case in my state. Two teenagers in a Fiat X1/9 rolled the car and broke the passenger’s neck thereby turning him into a quadraplegic. The family sued Fiat claiming the car was inherently dangerous due to a flawed suspension design. Suing was understandable since they were looking for someone to foot the astronomical costs of caring for their son for decades. As far as I know, their suit went nowhere. Since the accident occurred long after Fiat abandoned the US market, I wonder who they thought was around to pay off if they won.

  • avatar
    Jeff Zekas

    Why is everyone siding with a mega-corporation? Porsche is the company that built IMS failure-prone motors and then lied about it! Porsche is the company that sold diesels that were designed to cheat the smog laws! These are bad men! Sure, Paul Walker shares responsibility, but Porsche had to know that the majority of buyers would be unable to safely drive such a car, but the company cared more about money than human lives. Perhaps I am biased, because my own son was killed riding a motorcycle that was later identified as one of the “5 Used Bikes Too Dangerous For New Riders”; a bike Honda knew had dangerous brakes, but ignored the problem, because “not enough people will sue us”. So, before you side with rich Germans of the One Percent, maybe consider the fact that this company- and many other companies- build dangerous products, but don’t give a hoot, because there will always be new suckers to buy their junk vehicles (anyone remember the Ford Pinto with the exploding gas tank? Ford saved $50 per vehicle, knowing that innocent drivers would die).

    • 0 avatar

      Everyone is not siding with big corp. We are siding with common sense and personal responsibility…two things that went missing somewhere along the way. James Dean’s estate didn’t sue Porsche because everyone KNEW that driving like a hoon will get you killed…rich elitist actor or not. Folks back then weren’t looking to blame others for their own poor choices. Cars, motorcycles, planes, Pogo sticks, unicycles and tiny toys can and do kill tens of thousands every year. Nothing is safe. Choose how you want to go out and own it.

      Unless Porsche forgot to bolt the steering wheel down or wired the throttle servo backwards, everyone who buys a Porsche plans to take risks. When you take risks, sometimes you lose. I drive a Honda Civic. I do not take risks in my car. Perhaps more multi millionaires should buy Civics and they wouldn’t die in high-speed anythings.

      Dear Mr. Walker…I’m sorry for you loss. At least your son didn’t go out driving my car, in which case he would have been bored to death instead. My car struggles to get to 75 and isn’t any fun once you get there so at least he had a good run. Your son lived a life that only .00000000000000001% of the world’s 7 billion souls could only dream about, and he pissed it away on a 2005 POS with old tires. Let it go.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t play the victim here. You weren’t in the car. It’s a fallacy to equate the Porsche case to all the other cases you mentioned.

      In the end the majority of people can and do drive this car safely. This driver chose to operate the car outside of limits in a location where it was not safe to do so. This is not the fault of Porsche and they need to fight it. This is not a dangerous car.

      • 0 avatar

        You may not be Nixon but you sure are a d1ck.

        But you may deem it more important to protect the tender feelings of a f*cking car than to give the guy a pass.

        • 0 avatar

          Which guy is he supposed to give a pass to? Paul Walker, who chose to ride at high speeds around an office park? This was an event for his tuning company, Always Evolving. What are the chances the Porsche was stock? Porsche says it was modified, and it was being demonstrated at an event organized by a tuner. Is the guy you want to give a pass to his profiteering father? As far as I’m concerned, people that sue over the mistakes of their loved ones are only desecrating their memories. Personal responsibility is all that makes us more than animals.

    • 0 avatar

      The five used bikes article is ridiculous. They’re all liter class bikes. Some countries have laws that keep people off powerful motorcycles until they’ve had a chance to master limited ones. We don’t. The brakes on the Honda were characterized thusly: “It also comes stock with 330mm discs with a four pot grabber, which is more than enough to lock up the front or toss you off in an emergency braking situation.” Powerful brakes are not dangerous brakes, unless you choose to ride a bike with capabilities that you’re not ready for. What if the CBR954RR didn’t have brakes the equal of its engine? There would be lawyers for that too; don’t pretend otherwise. Sometimes choices have consequences. Our efforts to avoid this reality are going to have the worst consequences of all.

    • 0 avatar

      This is not about siding with the mega-corp. I hope VW and Friends face bankruptcy over their egregious cheating on emissions and fuel economy rules. But that is a different issue.

      These two people went joy riding in a high performance car and killed themselves by being stupid. That is their fault, not Porsche’s. In fact, you could argue that movies like the Fast and Furious franchise actively encourage poorly engineered vehicle modifications and wildly unsafe driving, and thus those who profited from the film could be liable when local street racers kill themselves.

      Walker made a fortune glorifying driving like an idiot on public roads, and then lost his life when he and a buddy where doing so.

      Paul Walker was not some impoverished kid taken advantage of by Porsche, he was a crazy rich actor who got that way selling the romance of street racing. I’m sorry he died, but it isn’t Porsche’s fault.

    • 0 avatar

      No one is supporting Porsche because they are rich. No one is really supporting Porsche at all. It has more to do with common sense.

      While I offer my sympathy for your loss, motorcycles and sports cars are high risk vehicles. Porsche makes very fast cars, it is common sense that, if you plan to throw the car around and test its performance, good tires (I wouldn’t trust 9 year old tires for NORMAL driving!) are a must, as is maintenance, and above all, the knowledge and ability to control such a vehicle under such use. Yes, you have to know something about what you are doing when you drive like that. That’s why there’s courses you can (and should) take for performance driving.

      Just because Porsche made it doesn’t mean they are responsible for the driver’s lack of skill, or the fact that the car had nearly decade old tires that couldn’t keep a Honda Accord driven by a snail on the road in a rainstorm. Sorry. Corporations are not responsible for bad decision making, and I don’t even like corporations.

      Again, sorry for your loss, but anyone persuing these sorts of vehicles is taking a risk if they push its limits or don’t maintain it to spec. I sincerely feel for you, and I mean no disrespect. I can’t say anything about your personal situation, and wouldn’t want to. Corporations can be shady, and some do make a bad product. But they can’t make anyone poorly maintain or illegally operate their products. They can’t educate or do research for us. We have to seek information for ourselves on whether or not their higher risk product is for us, or if we are skilled enough to operate it ourselves under certain conditions.

  • avatar

    “5 Used Bikes Too Dangerous For New Riders”…That’s a great title for Captain Obvious to pen his first article. Listed as exhibit “B” is the 1999 Suzuki Hyabusa 1300cc with 175Hp and a top speed of 191+mph. Really?! That’s not a good learner bike? It’s like saying a Bugatti Veyron wouldn’t make a good first car. Also, there was nothing defective with the Hyabusa, er….besides the fact that someone could walk in off the street and buy the damn thing. Caveat emptor! Be careful what you wish for.

  • avatar

    What’s next, suing alcoholic beverage makers for drunk driving? How about suing the government for not stopping people from taking illegal drugs like methamphetamine which then contribute to horrible accidents.

    I hope the courts throw this nonsense out.

  • avatar

    About 10 years ago I was checking out the latest offerings at Philadelphia cycle. At the time my track bike was a GSXR 600. I saw a young guy carrying a toddler with his baby momma joyously looking at sportbikes. I inquired and found out this was his first bike! Tried to tell him rather forcefully yet politely ( in front of the pissed salesman) a litre bike is not a good first bike. I talked to him about my first bike, track days, Keith Code days, my 4 crashes (all in leathers)etc. I also told him to go to any bike dealer including the one he was in, and look behind the shop in the fenced in area. Wadded sportbikes, most from inexperienced riders. I also told him he would not out grow a 600, to no avail. I often wonder what happened to him. It is the buyers responsibility, even if the scumbag salesman just wanted a bigger commission.

    • 0 avatar

      There are sh!t-tons of squid “BikerBoyz” like that will buy a ‘Busa, NOS it, extend the swingarm and jet around in a back protector and shorts while their helmet is strapped to the side of the bike because itz badazzz, yo! Ya can’t help those guys….they’ll find out the hard way after they highside while trying their first wheelie. Then the bike (or parts thereof) will be up for sale.

  • avatar

    The fuel line cutoff sounds like a potentially valid thing. Can’t say I know much about them, though.

    But why do all of Porsche’s statements make it sound like Walker was the one driving? They need to focus on the guy who owned, maintained, and drove the car.

    • 0 avatar

      The lack of fuel cutoff has to be “race car” related. Bottoming-out hard or slamming a tire barrier could otherwise end the race for a driver with the car perfectly drivable, despite some body damage.

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