Lawyers for Porsche say Paul Walker was responsible for his death in a 2013 car crash, but an attorney for the actor’s daughter disputed the claim in a statement Monday.
A lawsuit was filed in September on behalf of the late actor’s 16-year-old daughter, Meadow Rain Walker, alleging a defective seat belt kept her father trapped alive for more than a minute in the sports car in which he died before the vehicle became engulfed in fire.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges wrongful death, strict liability and negligence.
In court papers filed Thursday, attorneys for Porsche say the 2005 Carrera GT in which Walker was killed was “misused and improperly maintained. Plaintiff is barred from recovery because Mr. Walker was a knowledgeable and sophisticated user of the (car).”
However, attorney Jeff Milam, representing Meadow Walker, said in a prepared statement Porsche is trying to deflect blame.
” If Porsche had designed the car to include proper safety features, Paul would have survived,” Milam said.
Authorities said that high speed caused the fiery crash on Nov. 30, 2013, in Valencia that killed Walker, 40, who was best known for his role in “The Fast and the Furious” film series, along with the car’s driver, Roger Rodas, 38.
Electronic information retrieved from the burned-out car’s computer systems determined that Rodas was driving the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT at speeds between 80 and 93 mph when the car smashed into a pole and a tree.
“Plaintiff is informed and believes that the seatbelt continued to apply force across Paul Walker’s body after the Porsche came to a rest, causing his breathing to become shallow and prevented any escape or rescue,” the suit alleges.
The complaint also alleges the car had a lack of electronic stability control and inadequate side door reinforcement bars.
Milam described Meadow Walker as “a teenage girl who is still dealing with the tragic loss of her father.”
“The bottom line is that the Porsche Carrera GT is a dangerous car,” Milam said. “It doesn’t belong on the street. And we shouldn’t be without Paul Walker or his friend, Roger Rodas.”
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