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Porsche disputes wrongful death suit in Paul Walker crash

Many film fans in Montana and elsewhere still mourn the 2013 death of actor Paul Walker. On that fateful November night, Mr. Walker and a friend had taken the actor’s Porsche Carrera GT out for a spin, and ended up in a fiery crash that killed both men, despite their wearing seatbelts. Recently, Mr. Walker’s 16-year-old daughter filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche, alleging the car company was responsible for her father’s death due to flaws in the vehicle’s design.

The lawsuit claims that the car did not have safety features that other racing cars or Porsche’s road cars have, which may have prevented Mr. Walker and his friend from getting into an accident or being killed in the crash. Officials from Porsche, on the other hand, state that Mr. Walker was at fault. They claimed the actor altered the car so it was unsafe to drive and that he fully understood the risks he was taking.

Initially, investigators determined the crash was caused by excessive speed, and that Mr. Walker had been driving between 80 and 93 miles per hour. Later, the family’s investigators analyzed a surveillance video and said they believed he was driving 40 to 60 miles per hour. The side door reinforcement bars, alleges the lawsuit, were weaker than those in vehicles for the general market, which might have been a reason for the Porsche’s extensive damage if it had been going at a slower speed than initially believed.

Vehicle design flaws or faulty vehicle equipment can pose a great danger to drivers and passengers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 380 million vehicles have been recalled since 1966 for dangerous defects.

Source: NBC Montana, "Paul Walker death: Porsche blames him," Ed Payne and Tiffany Ap, Nov. 17, 2015

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