Back on November 30, 2013, actor Paul Walker, best known for his role in the Fast and Furious franchise died in a car crash. Walker was killed in the crash while friend, and experienced driver, Roger Rodas was driving a Porsche Carrera GT. Reports from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department stated the Porsche went out of control on a road in Santa Clarita, California, and “impacted a power pole and several trees” while the car was going between 80 and 93 mph. The sheriff’s investigators found that nothing mechanically caused the Porsche to leave the road. The suit against Porsche was filed by Rodas’ widow, Kristine Rodas. The lawsuit claimed that Rodas died in the crash due to a lack of safety features in the car, including a lack of a safety cage, fuel cell, and the car’s suspension failed before the crash. The judge wrote in a decision that Rodas “provided no competent evidence” that her husband’s death “occurred as a result of any wrongdoing on the part of” Porsche.
Two other lawsuits stemming from the crash brought against Porsche are moving through the court system. One from Walker’s daughter, Meadow Walker, filed in September 2015 which will not be affected by this decision and claims the car had multiple design flaws. “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,” the suit says. Porsche claimed the car had been “abused and altered” and “misused and improperly maintained.” The German company said Paul Walker would have been well aware of the dangers of driving the Carrera GT, and that his willingness to ride in the car should keep Porsche from being found liable for the accident. The two open suits will not be affected because a significant portion of the judge’s decision was based on his rejection of evidence due to missed deadlines and a failure to sue Porsche. Rodas’ attorney will be appealing the decision.