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Man Accused of Stealing Paul Walker's Cars Within 24 Hours of Death

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 15, 2015 4:32 PM

Everyone wants a piece of Paul Walker, or rather his cars.

Last week, lawyers representing the Paul Walker's family and estate filed a lawsuit against Richard Taylor, who formerly worked for Walker, for theft by conversion of Walker's many cars.

The Theft

When he was alive, Paul Walker was a car enthusiast (thus explaining all the Fast and Furious movies). Walker had a collection of over 30 cars, including several 1993 BMW M3s, one 2008 BMW M3, one 2006 Crown Victoria, one 2004 GMC Truck, one 2011 Porsche GTSR3, and many more.

Richard Taylor was employed by Walker to care for the cars and manage paperwork. Within 24 hours of Walker's tragic car accident death, Taylor allegedly sent people to Walker's Valencia warehouse to take the prized cars. Representatives for Walker's estate also claim that Taylor sold some off the cars and are illegally hiding certificates of ownership for 13 of the cars.

The Lawsuit

The lawsuit accuses Taylor of wrongful conversion. Despite the fancy wording, conversion is essentially like theft. It is the taking of and asserting control over another's property. The elements of conversion are:

  1. Ownership -- Did the plaintiff actually have ownership of the property?
  2. Interference -- Intentional and substantial interference can occur in three ways. The defendant takes possessions of the property, prevents the plaintiff from taking possession of the property, or destroying or selling the property.
  3. Consent -- Did the plaintiff give the defendant consent to take the property?
  4. Harm -- Did the plaintiff suffer any harm from the conversion?
  5. Causation -- Was the conversion a substantial factor that caused plaintiff harm?

Here, the cars belonged to Paul Walker. When Walker died, the cars became part of his estate. So, Walker's estate does have legal ownership of the cars. The lawsuit accuses Taylor of removing the car from the Valencia warehouse, selling some of the cars, and withholding certificates of ownership on others. The estate claims that Taylor did not have permission to remove the cars. Because Taylor allegedly stole the cars, Walker's estate lost thousands of dollars.

The lawsuit demands that Taylor return the cars or pays the value of the sold cars and asks for unspecified punitive damages.

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