Image:U.S. actor Paul Walker presents a creation from Colcci’s 2013/2014 summer collection during Sao Paulo Fashion Week March 21, 2013. REUTERS/Filipe Carvalho
By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Lawyers for German automaker Porsche said actor Paul Walker was responsible for his own death in a fiery crash of a Porsche Sport car, in response to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the late actor’s daughter, court documents showed.
Cranbrook Partners, representing Porsche AG
Walker was a passenger in the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by Roger Rodas, who lost control of the vehicle before it careened into trees and a utility pole in Santa Clarita, northwest of Los Angeles, killing both men in November 2013.
After a four-month investigation, Los Angeles officials said the crash was caused by excessive speed and not a mechanical failure.
Meadow Walker, the actor’s only child and sole heir to his estate, filed a complaint in September saying Porsche had skimped on safety features for the vehicle, which could have either prevented the crash entirely or at least kept the actor alive. Her lawsuit requested a jury trial.
But lawyers for Porsche said Walker had “knowingly and voluntarily assumed all risk, perils and danger” of the 2005 Carrera GT, and that the car, owned by Rodas, had been “abused and altered,” and “was misused and improperly maintained.”
“That abuse and alteration proximately caused or contributed to the incident and to Mr. Walker’s death,” Cranbrook said.
Representatives for Walker did not immediately respond to request for comment on Tuesday.
Earlier this year, attorneys for Porsche said Rodas, the driver of the vehicle, was to blame for the crash after Rodas’ widow filed a lawsuit against the automaker alleging negligence and wrongful death, among other claims.
Walker’s sudden death at the age of 40 led to a temporary half in production of action film “Furious 7,” the latest movie in the “Fast & Furious” franchise about illegal street car racing.
The film was released this year after Walker’s brothers stepped in to finish his scenes, and became the highest-grossing instalment of the franchise.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy, editing by G Crosse)
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