Lawsuit

Paul Walker's Daughter May Actually Have A Case Against Porsche

And here's why.

Quick recap: Meadow Walker, the 16-year-old daughter of the late actor Paul Walker, recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche. She claims its Carrera GT, the supercar her father was a passenger in at the time of its deadly crash, is unsafe and "doesn’t belong on the road." Porsche responded and, once again, denied any liability. But Meadow Walker may, in fact, have a case based on legal precedent.

Yahoo Autos discovered that a San Diego-based personal injury lawyer, Craig McClellan, represented the family of a guy who was the passenger in a Porsche 930 Turbo in the early 1980s. The 930’s driver hit the gas at a stoplight, most likely to show off the car’s power, in a 25 mph zone. They were really going closer to 60 mph, but the driver panicked and hit the brakes. Because of the heavy rear engine setup, the car "swung around like a pendulum" and into oncoming traffic. The driver survived unharmed but the passenger was killed. McClellan successfully sued Porsche for wrongful death, "contending the car was inherently dangerous for the average, untrained driver." He won the case but here’s the kicker: the driver was intoxicated.

Porsche appealed the $2.5 million jury verdict but it was upheld. A few years later McClellan sued Porsche again for another wrongful death claim, this time involving a 911 Turbo. He won that case too. His bottom line winning argument: "If an automaker knowingly does not use the technology it has available – something that may be standard on many other cars, especially when it relates to high performance vehicles – then that automaker should be liable in any injuries or deaths that occur due to this oversight." The Carrera GT doesn’t have two things that were standard on all other Porsche models at the time but should have had: stability control and adequate safety to protect its occupants. A jury could very well agree with Meadow Walker on that.

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