Lawyers for one of the Porsche entities sued for wrongful death by the teenage daughter of actor Paul Walker say their client should be removed as a defendant because the company has no business ties to California.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of 16-year-old Meadow Rain Walker alleges a defective seat belt kept her father trapped alive for more than a minute in a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT before it became engulfed in flames on Nov. 30, 2013, in Valencia.
Killed along with the 40-year-old actor, who was known for his role in “The Fast and the Furious” film series, was the car’s driver, Roger Rodas, 38.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed Sept. 28 also alleges the car had a lack of electronic stability control and inadequate side door reinforcement bars.
Named as defendants in the lawsuit, which alleges wrongful death, strict liability and negligence, are HCF Porsche AG, the car’s manufacturer; Porsche Cars North America Inc., which distributes Porsche cars in the U.S.; and Beverly Hills Porsche.
In court papers filed Monday, attorneys for Porsche AG say service of the summons and complaint on the company should be quashed. Porsche AG is not authorized to do business in California, does not maintain offices in the state, does not own property or pay taxes here and does not direct marketing efforts toward the Golden State’s residents, according to the Porsche AG lawyers’ court papers.
“Porsche AG designs and manufactures Porsche-branded motor vehicles, principally in Germany, and nowhere in California or the United States of America,” Martin Urschel, Porsche AG vice president for sales and management, says in a sworn declaration.
In most cases, Porsche AG sells its vehicles to distributors, who in turn provide them to the authorized dealers that market the cars to consumers, the Porsche AG attorneys’ court papers state.
A March 23 hearing is scheduled on the Porsche AG motion.
Authorities have said that high speed caused the crash. Electronic information retrieved from the burned-out car’s computer systems determined that Rodas was driving the sports car at speeds between 80 and 93 mph when the vehicle smashed into a pole and a tree.
— City News Service
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