Investigations undertaken by local law enforcement may have vindicated Porsche from any wrongdoing in the crash that killed actor Paul Walker and racing driver Roger Rodas last year, but the latter's widow is apparently not convinced. According to emerging reports, Kristine Rodas has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages from Porsche Cars North America.
In her suit filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court, Rodas' attorney Mark Geragos reportedly disputes the findings of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which asserted that the vehicle was traveling at an unsafe speed of 90 miles per hour on city streets, identifying the speed as the cause of the accident. Instead the lawsuit claims that the vehicle was only going 55 mph and that the cause of the crash was improper equipment – namely a faulty right rear suspension and the lack of a crash cage and proper fuel tank.
"The Carrera GT was unsafe for its intended use by reason of defects in its manufacture, design, testing, component and constituents, so that it would not safely serve its purpose," according to the specifics of the suit obtained by the Los Angeles Times. When reached for comment, Porsche Cars North America spokesman Nick Twork told Autoblog:
The Carrera GT is known as a difficult car to drive. As the LA Times report points out, Jay Leno spun one at Talladega in 2005, and the following year, Porsche paid part of a multi-million-dollar settlement after two were killed on a track when their Carrera GT struck a slower-moving Ferrari. The Rodas lawsuit could very well point to that previous suit from San Diego Superior Court. Whether the court in LA will hand down a similar ruling remains to be seen.
We are very sorry for the Rodas and Walker family's loss. The crash was the subject of a detailed investigation by the proper authorities (L.A. County Sheriff and California Highway Patrol), and their investigation disproves the allegations in the lawsuit. The investigation found that driving at a high speed in a negligent manner caused the crash and concluded that there was no mechanical defect.