We won’t dwell on this too long but in case you haven’t already heard, actor Paul Walker’s tragic death by car accident in 2013 did not mean the man’s name and memory can rest in peace.
In late September, Meadow Walker, Paul’s daughter, launched a legal campaign against Porsche for the death of her father who perished while in the passenger seat of a red 2005 Carrera GT while his friend, Roger Rodas, was at the wheel.
Now, Entertainment Weekly (EW) writes that Paul William Walker III (the actor’s father) has also filed a lawsuit against Porsche for similar claims: wrongful death and negligence. Both members of the Walker family say that had the Stuttgart automaker fitted the Carrera GT with more modern safety features, the driver and passenger's lives could have been spared.
Earlier in November, Porsche publicly responded to Meadow Walker’s lawsuit, saying her father “knowingly and voluntarily assumed all risk, perils and danger in respect to the use of the subject 2005 Carrera GT, that the perils, risk and dangers were open and obvious and known to him, and that he chose to conduct himself in a manner as to expose himself to such perils, dangers and risks, thus assuming all the risks involved in using the vehicle.”
Meanwhile, the Rodas’ widow, Kristine, also levelled a lawsuit against Porsche for similar disputes, with timing nearly in concert with that from Paul Walker Sr.
The fact remains, however, that car accidents happen all the time, and while the actor’s death is unquestionably tragic, Porsche does have a strong point when stating plainly that Walker assumed all the risks. The Carrera GT wasn’t designed to compete with the safest Volvos. It’s a very fast and powerful car, and by that definition, a more dangerous one. It's also a car that, rather famously, requires a deft touch to master.
We wonder why only now these legal attacks on Porsche are coming into the fore when the actor passed away in 2013, with the medical and forensic analyses were concluded not long after that. Porsche, and their parent company, Volkswagen are at the moment in the throws of a very serious emissions scandal that could have global repercussions on diesel engines.
These sudden accusations against the manufacturer of a car involved in a crash in California for being responsible for the deaths of the occupants instead of the blame falling to the car's driver is already suspect. But the timing here does also have a whiff of opportunism.