Porsche says that Paul Walker is to blame for the November 2013 car crash that killed the actor and his friend Roger Rodas.
Walker's daughter Meadow sued the car company for wrongful death in September, alleging that the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT her father was riding in "lacked safety features" that would have prevented his and Rodas's death after the crash. But in a response to the complaint filed Thursday, Porsche's attorneys denied that the car was at fault.
"Mr. Walker’s death, and all other injuries or damages claimed, were the result of Mr. Walker’s own comparative fault," they wrote in the court document.
The response to the suit says that Walker "knowingly and voluntarily assumed all risk, perils and danger" when he got into Rodas' Carrera on the afternoon of November 30, 2013. Investigators at the LA County Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol previously ruled that excessive speed, not mechanical problems, were to blame for the severity of the accident. They determined that Rodas was driving as fast as 93 miles per hour when the car collided with a light pole.
In her suit, though, Meadow Walker alleged that the car was moving at between 45 and 55 miles per hour before the crash. Noting that Rodas was a professional driver who had driven the route the two were taking that afternoon over 100 times, she said that faulty seat belts were to blame for the deaths.
The complaint alleges that the car was designed in such a way that "when the car broke apart upon impact, the shoulder belt anchors traveled with the rear engine compartment while the seat belt anchors remained with the passenger compartment." That resulted, the suit claims, in Walker suffering serious injuries that prevented him from escaping the car before it burst into flames.
Porsche did not specifically address this design element in its response to the suit. But the company does allege that the car was "abused and altered after being entered in the stream of commerce" and that it was "misused and improperly maintained."
In response to the new filings, Meadow's attorney Jeff Milam issued a statement slamming Porsche for "blaming the victim -- Paul Walker -- for his own death."
"If Porsche had designed the car to include proper safety features, Paul would have survived, he would be filming 'Fast and Furious 8,' and Meadow Walker would have the father she adored," Milam wrote.
Paul Walker would have turned 42 in September had he survived the crash.
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