Meadow Walker Settles with Porsche in Paul Walker Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The late actor Paul Walker’s daughter, Meadow Walker, has settled a wrongful death lawsuit she filed against Porsche alleging her father died because he was not able to release his seatbelt in time to escape a fiery car crash. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, Meadow Walker, now 18, reached the settlement with Porsche Oct. 16. The terms of the deal are confidential, but it dismisses the wrongful death case and notes that Paul William Walker III, the father of the “Fast and Furious” actor also reached an agreement with the automaker.
Lawsuits Against Porsche
Meadow’s lawsuit alleged in 2015 that Porsche’s 2005 Carrera GT was not designed to protect its occupants in a crash even at speeds below its advertised capabilities. The car in which Walker was a passenger at the time of the crash was marketed as a “race car” with a 605-horsepower engine capable of traveling at speeds of 205 mph. Porsche’s attorneys argued that the actor was a willing passenger, knew what the sports car was capable of, and was responsible for his own death.
A judge had previously dismissed a lawsuit against the automaker brought by Kristine Rodas, the widow of Roger Rodas, who was driving the Carrera GT at the time. The vehicle hit a tree at high speed and burst into flames. Rodas’s wife alleged that design flaws in the vehicle caused her husband’s death. However, the judge determined that a roll cage or racing fuel cell would not have prevented his death from blunt force trauma.
Auto Defect Wrongful Death Cases
Automakers have a responsibility to manufacture vehicles that are safe for consumers. While no vehicle can be 100 percent safe, they need to be crashworthy. This means that they need to have the capability to protect vehicle occupants in the event of a crash. When vehicles are defective or safety devices are faulty and they fail to protect occupants, family members of deceased crash victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the automaker.
Such lawsuits are typically filed by survivors of victims such as a spouse, child parent or other individual who was financially dependent on the decedent. Wrongful death lawsuits seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. If you have lost a loved one as the result of a defective auto or faulty vehicle part, contact an experienced auto defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your rights.