Nearly two years after Paul Walker’s death, the actor’s teenage daughter is suing Porsche, claiming that the sports car her father was riding in when he was killed in a fiery wreck had numerous design flaws.
An attorney for 16-year-old Meadow Walker filed a wrongful death suit Monday against the automaker, claiming the company knew the Porsche Carrera GT “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 lawsuit, obtained by The Washington Post, said the car did not have an electronic stability control system, which helps drivers maintain control in extreme conditions. The court filing also claimed that the car had inadequate side door reinforcement bars, a faulty fuel line and a flawed seat belt system, designed so that upon impact, the shoulder belt anchor was pulled to the rear while the seat belt anchor stayed attached.
“This snapped Walker’s torso back with thousands of pounds of force,
These design defects, the lawsuit claims, kept the “Fast & Furious” star trapped in the car when it crashed and caught fire in Los Angeles nearly two years ago.
Walker, 40, was riding in a friend’s Porsche Carrera GT on Nov. 30, 2013, when the car crashed into a light pole and tree and burst into flames. Both Walker and his friend, Roger Rodas, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Los Angeles Sheriff’s investigators, who consulted with Porsche technicians at the time, concluded that high speeds — not mechanical issues — were to blame, according to a March 2014 report. Collision experts from the sheriff’s office determined that Rodas was driving between 80 and 93 mph on a road with a 45-mph speed limit.
“The mechanical examination revealed no pre-existing conditions that would have caused this collision,” police said in the 2014 report.
The lawsuit, however, argues that the car was going between 63 to 71 mph when it lost control, and 45 to 59 mph by the time it crashed.
Reflecting on my father, I found myself reflecting on his passions. His passion for the ocean, his passion for rescuing animals, his passion for helping people and his passion for spontaneous goodwill. I wanted to start this foundation because I want to share that piece of him with the world. I want to share that part of him with others. I am tremendously proud to be launching The #PaulWalkerFoundation (@paulwalkerfdn) on his birthday. I can't think of a better way to celebrate my father. #DoGood
Meadow Walker has not spoken publicly about the lawsuit.
Her attorney, Jeff Milam, said in a statement to The Post that she filed the suit “with great reluctance” and will not be commenting on it.
“She’s a teenage girl who is still dealing with the tragic loss of her father,” Milam said.
“The bottom line is that the Porsche Carrera GT is a dangerous car,” he added. “It doesn’t belong on the street. And we shouldn’t be without Paul Walker or his friend, Roger Rodas.”
Porsche Cars North America spokesperson Calvin Kim told CNN that the manufacturer has not yet seen seen the lawsuit and would not comment on it.
“As we have said before, we are saddened whenever anyone is hurt in a Porsche vehicle,” Kim said, according to CNN, “but we believe the authorities’ reports in this case clearly established that this tragic crash resulted from reckless driving and excessive speed.”
Porsche representatives were not immediately available to comment Tuesday.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages in Walker’s death.
This story has been updated.