‘Fast and Furious’ fans all over the world were shocked when film star Paul Walker (“Walker”) was tragically killed in November of 2013. The leading actor of the ‘Fast and Furious’ film franchise suffered major burns and traumatic injuries after the Porsche he was riding in with a friend crashed and burst into flames. Pictures of the scene of the accident revealed the remains of what was once a Porsche Carrera GT, completely wrecked, alongside a few trees in Los Angeles.
Walker’s 16 year-old daughter, and sole heir to his estate, filed a wrongful death suit against Porsche last month. The grounds for suit include strict liability and negligence, with an unspecified amount of damages to be determined in a jury trial. Meadow Rain Walker’s (“Meadow”) complaint states “Plaintiff is to recover all damage to the Estate proximately caused by the wrongful death of Paul William Walker IV, including without limitation, all lost income and earnings (present and future), expenses, and all general and special damages to the extent allowed by law.”
Meadow and her attorneys claim that her father’s death was the result of design defects in the Porsche Carrera GT that Walker was riding in when he was killed. The complaint alleges that Porsche failed to include an electronic stability control system and utilized rubber fuel lines that did not break free to prevent fire in a crash. Meadow asserts that Walker had in fact survived the impact of the crash, but suffered horrifically from the design defects that kept him trapped in the vehicle when it crashed and caught fire, causing his demise.
Although Meadow’s suit asserts that the vehicle was cruising at a maximum speed of 71 mph, law enforcement officials reported upwards of 90 mph at the time of the accident. Given the nature of the wreckage at the time authorities arrived on the scene, it is obvious that Porsche will likely respond to Meadow’s claims with reckless driving and excessive speeding being the true cause of Walker’s death. Whether the court determines Walker’s death to be the cause of a design defect or excessive speeding, it is troublesome to believe that the actor’s role as a speedy race- car driver that once brought him much success, may in fact be held as the very reason he is no longer with us today.