Porsche Not Liable for Paul Walker Crash: Judge

But there are 2 more cases against the company still in the pipeline
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2016 8:21 AM CDT
Porsche Not Liable for Paul Walker Crash: Judge
Sheriff's deputies work near the wreckage of a Porsche that crashed in Valencia, Calif., on Nov. 30, 2013, killing Paul Walker and Roger Rodas.   (AP Photo/The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Dan Watson)

The widow of the man driving the Porsche Carrera GT that crashed and killed actor Paul Walker had hoped to prove that something wrong with the car itself, not the car going too fast, caused the 2013 accident. But a California federal judge on Monday dismissed Kristine Rodas' wrongful death suit against Porsche—one of three similar claims—saying Rodas hadn't proved mechanical issues were to blame for the death of Walker and her husband, Roger, the Los Angeles Times reports. "Plaintiff has provided no competent evidence that Rodas' death occurred as a result of any wrongdoing on the part of defendant," Judge Philip Gutierrez said in his ruling, per the AP. An LA County Sheriff's report said the Porsche was driving at a speed between 80mph and 93mph at the time of impact, per CNN. But Rodas says her husband was obeying the speed limit, and another lawsuit filed against Porsche by Walker's daughter, Meadow, claims the car was between 63mph and 71mph.

What Rodas thought was to blame: mechanical problems, including the lack of a crash cage, no safety fuel cell (a special fuel tank with a stiff outer shell and flexible inner shell to help prevent punctures in a crash), and a malfunctioning suspension. But the judge found neither of the first two would have mitigated the severe injuries Rodas suffered, and the defense's expert testimony about the suspension was dismissed. Walker's daughter's suit—which cites different mechanical issues as contributing to Walker's death, including a faulty seat belt and an engine capable of letting the car go too fast—will continue. "The issues in the cases are very different," her attorney said Tuesday, per People. "[Paul Walker] survived the crash but was trapped and burned to death because of the vehicle's defects." There's also one filed by Walker's father. (More Paul Walker stories.)

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