A wrongful death lawsuit seeking unspecified damages was filed against Porsche Cars North America on May 12 by Kristine Rodas, the widow of Roger Rodas, an experienced race car driver who died in a fiery car crash on Nov. 30, 2013 along with the beloved “Fast and Furious” star Paul Walker. Rodas was driving the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT with Walker in the passenger seat when the car crashed into a light pole in Valencia, Calif. and burst into flames. Rodas’ lawsuit, inked by attorney Mark Geragos, disputes earlier versions of the crash and “alleges that faults with the Porsche's design and suspension” led to the car careening out of control and crashing.
The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that the suit alleges the car was only traveling at a speed of 55 mph when the crash occurred, a speed that contradicts the 90 mph arrived at by a report filed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The lawsuit states that the Carrera “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.”
The lawsuit contends that the right rear tire suddenly steered to the left and that despite the efforts of Rodas, a veteran race car driver, the vehicle continued a clockwise movement before climbing the curb, swiping a tree and then hitting a light pole and a second tree.
The car then hit a third tree on the passenger side, causing the vehicle to split and catch fire.
Geragos also wrote in the lawsuit that after the car crashed, a rupture to the fuel tank allowed gasoline to get into the engine compartment. Reportedly, Rodas and Walker died seconds after the crash.
Reports released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol concluded that a high rate of speed was ultimately responsible for the crash – not mechanical failure. Interestingly though, investigators preparing those reports “reached those conclusions after consulting with Porsche technicians.”
Conducting his own investigation into the deadly car crash, Geragos said that he enlisted the aid of “top experts in the country” to look into the crash and the resulting wreckage. Geragos claims that his investigation provides an “unbiased look” into the cause of the accident that now disputes and contradicts reports that speed, not mechanical failure, was the cause of the crash, according to Time.