Paul Walker: Porsche not at fault, judge rules

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Fast and Furious Cast

On Monday, April 4, the US District Court Judge Philip S. Gutierrez granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of the German automaker Porsche.

The judge ruled that the Porsche Carrera GT driven by Paul Walker and Roger Rodas is not responsible for the death of the two men that resulted from a high-speed crash in 2013.

Rodas’ widow, Kristine, filed a federal lawsuit in January against the German automaker Porsche, claiming a defect in the Porsche’s suspension system. But the court ruled there was a lack of evidence for her case. The lawsuit also claimed that Porsche lacked several key safety features including a “crash cage” and fuel cell.

In the judge’s Monday ruling, Gutierrez said there was not enough evidence to determine whether not or the car lacked proper safety components, and added that there was no enough evidence that the Carrera GT’s suspension failed before the fatal crash.

Gutierrez also denied Kristine’s claim that Porsche failed to warn drivers about the “substandard side impact protection.” The bulk of the judge’s Monday ruling addresses Rodas’ product liability claims.

A 2014 investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway patrol blamed unsafe speed and poor judgment as the fatal accident’s cause. The investigators reported that the Porsche Carrera GT are traveling at speed in excess of 100 miles per hour when they crashed.

Authorities also found nothing mechanically wrong with the Porsche’s suspension system and mechanical parts but did discover that the tires were over nine years old. Finally, the LA County Coroner ruled that the crash that killed the two men was a result of over speeding and poor judgment.

An earlier report by Associated Press said that the lawsuits from Walker’s daughter and his father against Porsche are still pending in Los Angeles Superior Court, and the district court ruling doesn’t affect them. In each case, Porsche denied being at fault and cited the Los Angeles County Sheriff investigation as support for that argument.

Picture Courtesy: Jack Zalium/Wikimedia Commons

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