Paul Walker was responsible for his own death in a high-speed crash of a 2005 Carrera GT, automaker Porsche has said.
The Fast and Furious actor was a passenger in the Porsche driven by his friend Roger Rodas when it hit a pole and burst into flames in November 2013.
Paul Walker’s daughter, Meadow, filed a wrongful death case in September claiming Porsche took safety shortcuts.
However, the automaker has said Paul Walker “knowingly and voluntarily assumed all risk” of being a passenger in the car.
The actor was “a knowledgeable and sophisticated user of the 2005 Carrera GT”, Porsche said in legal papers filed last week.
“PCNA [Porsche Cars North America] alleges that Mr. Walker knowingly and voluntarily assumed all risk, perils and danger in respect to the use of the subject 2005 Carrera GT,” said the manufacturer.
It added: “The perils, risk and danger were open and obvious and known to him, and he chose to conduct himself in a manner so as to expose himself to such perils, dangers and risks, thus assuming all the risks involved in using the vehicle.”
Porsche also said in its defense papers that the car in which Paul Walker was travelling, had been “abused and altered” and was “misused and improperly maintained”.
The statement adds: “At the time the subject 2005 Carrera GT was originally manufactured, sold and delivered, it comported with state of the art.”
After a four-month investigation following the crash on November 30, 2013, the police said the Porsche, driven by Paul Walker’s friend Roger Rodas who also died, was travelling at 94mph in a 45mph zone when it hit a lamp post.
Meadow Walker’s legal claim contends the car was travelling much slower when it went out of control and that her father’s seatbelt was defective.
Her legal documents allege the car lacked “features that could have prevented the accident or, at a minimum, allowed Paul Walker to survive the crash”.
In response to Porsche’s defense, a representative for Meadow Walker told TMZ: “It is beyond regrettable that Porsche is trying to deflect its own responsibility by blaming the victim, Paul Walker, for his own death by getting into the passenger seat of its Carrera GT.
“Contrary to Porsche’s assertions, the facts are clear: Paul was the passenger in a car that was not designed to protect its occupants, in a crash on a dry, empty straightaway in broad daylight and at speeds well below the vehicle’s advertised capabilities.”
Roger Rodas’ widow filed a similar case last year, but Porsche said the crash was his fault, rather than down to design flaw.
Paul Walker’s daughter, Meadow, is to sue Porsche over the crash in which the actor died.
The lawsuit filed on September 28 by Meadow Rain Walker, 16, seeks unspecified damages for defects that her lawyers claim kept the Fast and Furious actor trapped in the Porsche Carrera GT when it crashed and burst into flames in November 2013.
Paul Walker was a passenger in a Porsche a friend was driving when it hit a pole and burst into flames in November 2013.
The automaker has not yet publicly responded to the claims.
After a four-month investigation, police said the Porsche Carrera GT, driven by Paul Walker’s friend Roger Rodas, was travelling at 94mph in a 45mph zone when it hit a lamp post.
The lawsuit contends that the car was travelling much slower when it went out of control, according to TMZ.
The website, quoting legal documents, says his seatbelt “snapped Walker’s torso back with thousands of pounds of force, thereby breaking his ribs and pelvis,” and trapping him when the vehicle caught fire.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the document claims the car lacked “features that could have prevented the accident or, at a minimum, allowed Paul Walker to survive the crash”.
Meadow Walker has not commented.
Roger Rodas’ widow filed a similar case last year, but Porsche said the crash was his fault, rather than down to design flaws.
Paul Walker’s death occurred on a break in the filming of Fast & Furious 7.
Paul Walker’s daughter, Meadow, has launched a foundation in the Fast and Furious actor’s memory to mark his birthday on September 12.
Meadow Walker, 16, tweeted that she wanted to start the Paul Walker Foundation to “share a piece of my father with the world”.
The foundation’s mission statement is “Do Good”, reflecting his passions for the ocean, for helping people and animals and “spontaneous goodwill”.
Paul Walker died in a car crash in 2013.
He was killed by impact and a fire in the crash in California.
Paul Walker, who was 40 when he died, was a passenger in the Porsche that a friend was driving when it hit a pole and burst into flames.
The foundation is aimed at “empowering future generations by providing grants, scholarship opportunities and spontaneous acts of goodwill”.
Meadow Walker wrote on Instagram: “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my father.”
Paul Walker was also known for making documentaries about sharks with the National Geographic Channel, having studied marine biology before becoming an actor.
The actor’s death prompted a huge outpouring of tributes from fans and people who had worked with him, including his Fast and Furious co-star Vin Diesel, who went on to name his daughter Pauline in honor of his friend.
The posthumous release of Paul Walker’s Furious 7 took $384 million at the global box office in its opening weekend.
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