Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Paul Walker's Daughter Sues Porsche Alleging Deadly Design Defects

Article Placeholder Image
By Christopher Coble, Esq. on September 30, 2015 12:57 PM

Two years after his fatal crash, Paul Walker's daughter is suing Porsche, who manufactured the car Walker was a passenger in when he died. The lawsuit alleges that design defects in the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT led to her father's death.

Porsche has previously admitted to problems with the stability control in the Carrera GT, statements which could affect this case.

Daughter Furious

The lawsuit filed on behalf of 16-year-old Meadow Rain Walker alleges "the vehicle lacked safety features that are found on well-designed racing cars or even Porsche's least expensive road cars -- features that could have prevented the accident or, at a minimum, allowed Paul Walker to survive the crash."

Specifically, the suit contends the Carrera GT should have been fitted with an electronic stability control system to protect against swerving and stiffer reinforcement bars in the side doors, and that the rubber fuel lines were defective. An investigation revealed Walker died from traumatic and Thermal trauma, and both he and driver Roger Rodas burned beyond recognition.

Too Fast?

Meadow Rain's lawsuit is a wrongful death claim based on a design defect. Product liability cases based on defects in design call into question the manufacturer's decisions in making a product, especially with safety concerns. A company could be liable for a design defect if there is an inherent flaw or in a product's design that renders it unreasonably dangerous.

A Porsche spokesperson told CNN the company is "saddened whenever anyone is hurt in a Porsche vehicle, but we believe the authorities' reports in this case clearly established that this tragic crash resulted from reckless driving and excessive speed." A coroner's report determined the car was travelling around 100 miles per hour at the time of the crash.

The fact that Rodas may have been speeding doesn't negate the wrongful death lawsuit, but any contributory negligence could affect settlement negotiations and any ultimate damages award.

Follow FindLaw for Consumers on Facebook and Twitter (@FindLawConsumer).

Related Resources: