The movie world went into shock when two years ago, actor Paul Walker was suddenly killed in a car accident. Walker was the passenger seat of a Porsche Carrera GT when the vehicle hit a pole and went up in flames, tragically cutting short the 40-year-old’s life and that of his driver and friend, Roger Rodas.
Walker was in the midst of filming the recent Furious 7 (which went on to break multiple box-office records) and the filmmakers resorted to CGI so the actor would remain in the movie. Soon after, Walker’s 16-year-old daughter announced she would be directly suing Porsche over her father’s “wrongful death.” Official police reports stated the actor died as a result of speeding, but Meadow Walker alleged that the fault was with Porsche.
According to court documents, her lawyers alleged among other things, that her father’s car was primarily unsafe and “lacked safety features that could have prevented the accident or, at a minimum, allowed Paul Walker to survive the crash” and that the model in question had a “history of instability and control issues,” as well as a defunct seatbelt function that injured the actor, rendering him unable to escape the car.
The BBC reports that in response, Porsche has said the actor “knowingly and voluntarily assumed all risk” of being a passenger in the car. “PCNA [Porsche Cars North America] alleges that Mr Walker knowingly and voluntarily assumed all risk, perils and danger concerning the use of the subject 2005 Carrera GT,” said the manufacturer in court documents.
“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 defence papers that the car in which the actor was travelling had been “abused and altered” and was “misused and improperly maintained.”
In response, a representative for Walker’s young daughter told TMZ: “It is beyond regrettable that Porsche is trying to deflect its 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.”