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.
A post-mortem examination has found that neither Paul Walker nor driver Roger Rodas were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of their deaths in the fatal car accident.
Their Porsche was travelling at an “unsafe speed” when it hit a pole and burst into flames in California on November 30, a coroner’s report stated.
Both deaths have since been ruled accidents, authorities say.
Paul Walker was best known for the car racing films Fast and Furious.
Authorities estimate the car was travelling at nearly 100 mph at the time of the fatal accident, according to the coroner’s report released on Friday.
Paul Walker was best known for the car racing films Fast and Furious
But sheriff’s officials say the investigation into the accident has yet to be completed.
A previous post-mortem examination determined Paul Walker, 40, was killed by impact and injuries related to a fire.
The Los Angeles County coroner found that the driver, Roger Rodas, died from impact injuries alone.
Both men are said to have died within seconds of the crash, according to media reports.
Paul Walker starred in the Fast & Furious blockbuster films that celebrated high-speed car chases.
Production on the seventh installment of the Fast and Furious franchise was temporarily halted following his death.Universal Pictures later announced the film’s release date would be pushed back several months to April 2015.
Paul Walker’s autopsy report revealed the actor was killed in a car crash by the combined effects of the impact and subsequent fire.
Paul Walker, 40, who was a passenger in the car driven by his friend and financial adviser Roger Rodas, died Saturday when the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT smashed into a light pole and tree then exploded in flames.
Paul Walker’s autopsy report revealed the actor was killed in a car crash by the combined effects of the impact and subsequent fire
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office released the autopsy results Wednesday. The report also says Roger Rodas was killed by the impact.
Paul Walker starred in all but one of the six Fast & Furious blockbuster films that glorified fast cars and dangerous driving.
Sheriff’s investigators are still trying to determine exactly what caused Roger Rodas to careen out of control. They have said speed was a factor.
Paul Walker and Roger Rodas car crash was not the result of a street race, investigators have said.
While the neighborhood where Fast & Furious star Paul Walker died in a car crash on Saturday is known to attract street racers, law enforcement officials do not believe the Porsche he and his friend Roger Rodas were riding in had been racing another car.
Accident investigators “have received eyewitness statements that the car involved was traveling alone at a high rate of speed,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a written statement Monday.
“No eyewitness has contacted the (department) to say there was a second vehicle.”
Paul Walker, 40, and his friend and fellow fast-car enthusiast Roger Rodas, 38, died Saturday when Rodas’ 2005 Porsche Carrera GT smashed into a light pole and tree, then exploded in flames. The posted limit was 45 mph.
The two had taken what was expected to be a brief drive away from a charity fundraiser and toy drive at Roger Rodas’ custom car shop in the Southern California community of Valencia, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Paul Walker’s publicist said the action star was the passenger.
Paul Walker and Roger Rodas car crash was not the result of a street race
The crash happened on a street that forms an approximately 1-mile loop amid industrial office parks. It is rimmed by hills and relatively isolated from traffic, especially on weekends when the businesses are closed.
“It’s well-known out here that that’s a hot spot for street racers,” California Highway Patrol Sgt. Rick Miler said.
The sheriff’s department, which polices the neighborhood, said Saturday’s wreck was not the first speed-related crash there, but would not reveal specifics.
Meanwhile, investigators are consulting video from security cameras, talking to eyewitnesses and analyzing physical evidence such as on-board computer data from the Porsche.
A steady stream of fans has flocked to the crash site to leave flowers, candles and memorabilia from the action films.
On Monday night, a private memorial for survivors and the cast and crew of the Fast & Furious movies was held there inside a white tent erected around the crash site. When it was over, Paul Walker’s co-star Vin Diesel emerged to thank fans for paying their respect to the actor.
Officials have not named either person found in the car. The bodies were so badly burned by the fire that engulfed the wreck that dental records will be needed to confirm their identities.
Paul Walker and Roger Rodas had bonded over their shared love of fast cars.
Roger Rodas was a financial adviser as well as a professional driver who competed in 10 Pirelli World Challenge GTS races in 2013.
Paul Walker starred in all but one of the six Fast & Furious blockbusters. He had been on break from shooting the latest installment; Universal Pictures has not said what it plans to do with Fast & Furious 7, currently slated for July 2014 release.
Paul Walker and Roger Rodas’ autopsies are scheduled for Monday.
Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas died in a fiery car crash over the weekend in the Santa Clarita Valley, California.
Authorities hope the autopsies will positively identify and determine the exact cause of death for Paul Walker and his race car enthusiast friend.
Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas died in a fiery car crash over the weekend in the Santa Clarita Valley
Paul Walker, 40, was a passenger in a red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT that crashed into a tree and then a light pole before bursting into flames around 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the 28300 block of Rye Canyon Loop in Valencia.
Both Paul Walker and Roger Rodas, 38, were declared dead at the scene.
Paul Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow, and Roger Rodas is survived by his wife and two children.
Authorities are investigating whether Paul Walker’s car crash happened as the actor was involved in a street race.
Police are said to be looking for witnesses and possible video evidence that another car was involved in a street race with the Fast & Furious actor’s car.
The crash that killed Paul Walker may have had a lot more parallels to his film franchise than initially believed.
According to TMZ, authorities are investigating whether Paul Walker, 40, and his friend Roger Rodas – the former racecar driver behind the wheel of the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT when it crashed – were in the middle of a high speed competition with another car on Saturday afternoon.
It was suspected that speed contributed to the cause of the fiery crash, but a law enforcement source told TMZ that investigators received a tip about a possible race.
Authorities are investigating whether Paul Walker’s car crash happened as the actor was involved in a street race
The Santa Clarita, California, street where the accident occurred is apparently known to be a popular spot for the law-breaking hobby, the website reported.
There were also reports that the Porsche may have malfunctioned shortly before the crash. Sources connected to Paul and Roger Rodas’ high-end car shop, Always Evolving, told TMZ that there could have been a fluid leak in the vehicle.
There was a “noticeable absence of skid marks” and no visible “swerving” leading up to the crash site, Always Evolving source told the website, suggesting Roger Rodas did not lose control of the car.
The fire also reportedly spread from “the front of the car,” the source said, apparently reinforcing the theory of a fluid leak.
Paul Walker and Roger Rodas died at the scene, police confirmed, and were reportedly burned “badly” after the car exploded into flames.
An autopsy on Paul Walker’s body has been delayed, a rep for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said, until dental records for both men are obtained to identify the “unidentifiable” bodies.