According to the courts, Porsche wasn’t to blame for the 2013 crash that took the lives of Hollywood actor Paul Walker and his friend Rogers Rodas; as the automaker prevailed in a recent lawsuit that was set forth by Rodas’ widow. Kristine Rodas filed this lawsuit in early 2016 claiming wrongful death and negligence around a suspension defect, located in the rear wheel area to the right of the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT that the men were driving.
Autoweek reported that Walker and Rodas passed away on November 30th of 2013, while coming back from a charity event, just outside of L.A. Rodas, sitting behind the wheel, skid off the road, and then hit a tree and lamp post. Police concluded, weeks following the accident, that speeding was the underlying cause of the accident, versus any car defaults; as both men died instantly upon impact, and before the fuel tank ruptured, causing the car to catch on fire. This was determined by closed-circuit camera footage nearby that caught the accident on tape, coming to the conclusion that the car was driving at approximately 93-mph.
U.S. District Court Judge Philip S. Gutierrez ruled in Porsche’s favor regarding both the negligent and wrongful death allegations, determining Rodas’ death did not occur from a defect or any wrongful doings on the part of the automobile manufacturer. He also rejected all claims against Porsche when it came to the allegations of technical defects, coming to the conclusion that there was not sufficient evidence to support the idea that the 2005 Porsche did not have the basic safety features needed.
While Porsche may have won this lawsuit, there is another one waiting in the wings at LA County Superior Court; this time filed by Paul Walker’s daughter, Meadow and his dad, Paul Walker III. This separate claim also alleges that the 2005 Porsche lacked in safety features and is suing for wrongful death and negligence as well. The outcome Kristine Rodas’ federal suit should not affect the Walker family’s state suit filed, as there are no restrictions on similar lawsuits made on a state level, when it comes to an accident.