Paul Walker: father of Fast and Furious star sues Porsche
Porsche has responded to a lawsuit from Walker's daughter refuting claims it is to blame for his death
The father of actor Paul Walker, who died in a car crash two years ago, claims his son would have survived if the Porsche he was driving had included proper safety features.
As executor of his son's estate, the Fast and Furious star's father – also called Paul Walker – has filed a lawsuit against the car company.
The 40-year-old actor was a passenger in a Porsche Carrera GT when it crashed at speed and burst into flames in Santa Clarita, California, on 30 November 2013. Walker died of the combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries, while the driver, his friend Roger Rodas, died of multiple traumatic injuries. No drugs or alcohol were detected in either men.
Walker's father claims the car lacked safety features that could have saved his son's life, reports Sky News.
The claims come after Porsche responded to a separate wrongful death lawsuit filed by the actor's daughter Meadow Rain Walker.
In California, an individual relative is able to bring a claim of wrongful death as well as the personal representative of the deceased's estate.
A seven-page defence filed by the Volkswagen-owned manufacturer declared Walker's death was his "own comparative fault" and that he was aware of all of the "risk, perils and danger" involved in driving a Carrera GT.
However, a lawyer for Walker's daughter responded that "if Porsche had designed the car to include proper safety features, Paul would have survived, he would be filming Fast and Furious 8, and Meadow Walker would have the father she adored".
Rodas's widow, Kristine, has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the car maker. However, none of the cases have yet been set for trial.
The exact speed of the car when it crashed is in dispute. An investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol, aided by engineers from Porsche, concluded that it was unsafe speed, and not mechanical problems, that caused the crash, reports NBC Los Angeles.
Paul Walker: Fast and Furious 7 gets release date
23 December 2013
PAUL WALKER'S last film, Fast and Furious 7, will be released on 10 April, 2015, his co-star, Vin Diesel, has revealed.
Universal, the studio that is making the movie, said last week the production was "on hold indefinitely" following Walker's death in a car crash. It is understood that Walker had shot most of the scenes for the seventh installment of the franchise which was originally slated for an 11 July, 2014 release.
In a message posted on his Facebook page overnight, Vin Diesel - who plays street racer Dominic Toretto - said the film will be released on 10 April, 2015. He added: "He'd [Walker] would want you to know first..."
Diesel added a photograph of Walker and himself in what he said was "the last scene we filmed together".
Since Walker’s fatal accident, writers including Chris Morgan have been hard at work revising the scrip for the new film and planning how to rework scenes already shot, The Independent reports.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the crash has revealed that speed was the only reason the Porsche, in which Walker was a passenger, crashed and burst into flames on a California street.
The accident which killed the Fast & Furious actor and the car's driver, Roger Rodas, was not caused by mechanical problems, a police official told Sky News. The investigation has also ruled out debris in the road as a contributing factor in the crash which took place on 30 November. The car lost control due to "speed, and speed alone", the official told Sky.
Officials have refused to reveal the exact speed the Porsche Carerra GT was travelling when it struck a pole then a tree. They are awaiting an analysis of the car's on-board data collectors by a team of experts from the German car company.
The three 'black boxes' recovered from the wreck will determine the speed the car was travelling at, whether airbags were deployed or not, as well as throttle and engine readings, Sky reports.
Walker was laid to rest at a private ceremony at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills on Sunday. The service was attended by the actor's closest friends and family, The Independent says.
Universal Pictures has announced it is putting the filming of Fast & Furious 7 on hold indefinitely.
Paul Walker 'still alive' when car exploded, coroner says
HOLLYWOOD star Paul Walker was killed by the "combined effects" of the crash and fire that destroyed the Porsche Carerra GT in which he was a passenger, an autopsy has confirmed.
The Fast & Furious actor died last weekend with his friend and business partner, Roger Rodas.
Fans of Walker and the Fast & Furious film franchise in which he starred gathered in Los Angeles today for a car rally and public memorial service.
Fast & Furious co-star Rick Yune was among those who gathered to pay tribute to the star.
"We mourn his loss, but maybe we could just remember how great a guy this guy was and celebrate his life," Yune said, according to the BBC.
The results of an autopsy released last week say that Walker, 40, and Rodas, 38, died of accidental causes. Rodas was killed by multiple injuries sustained "on impact" when the sports car smashed into a pole then a tree. Walker died of the "combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries", the autopsy report says.
The findings suggest Walker was "alive when the car burst into flames," the New York Daily News reports, but it is not known if he was conscious.
The paper notes that the autopsy results did not include toxicology reports on the actor or Rodas. Evidence of whether drugs and alcohol were involved in the accident, which occurred in Santa Clarita, California, is expected in six to eight weeks, the coroner said.
It has been confirmed that the two victims were "so horribly disfigured" by the accident that the coroner had to use dental records to identify which man was driving the car when it hit the pole.
There has been speculation that Fast & Furious 7 – the movie Walker was filming at the time of his death – would be released as a tribute to the actor. But Universal Pictures has announced it is putting the movie "on hold indefinitely", Sky News reports.
"At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on Fast & Furious 7 for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise," the studio said.
Investigators are still trying to work out why the two men's car crashed. It is not believed they were racing another vehicle at the time of the accident, but they were speeding on a street which has a 45mph speed limit, Los Angeles County Sheriff's department said.
Paul Walker: Fast & Furious 7 will be released despite death
HOLLYWOOD racing film Fast & Furious 7 will still be released despite the death of its star, Paul Walker, who was killed on Saturday in a high-speed car crash, sources have told Hollywood Reporter.
Walker, 40, died when the Porsche Carrera GT he was a passenger in hit a pole and a tree and burst into flames in Valencia, California. The car was being driven by financial advisor Roger Rodas, 38, the actor's friend and the CEO of his company, Always Evolving.
Walker and the rest of the cast of Fast & Furious 7 were due to return to Atlanta yesterday to continue work on the unfinished movie. Sources told the Hollywood Reporter that Walker had shot most of his scenes although the cast – which includes Vin Diesel and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson – were scheduled to shoot extra scenes in Abu Dhabi next month.
The film – the sixth instalment to star Walker as Brian O'Conner, a police officer who investigates the street racing scene by going undercover as a driver – was due to be released on 11 July next year. Executives at Universal held an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss "whether rewrites would be necessary and how to proceed in a manner that would be respectful to Walker's death", sources said.
Walker's friend and his Fast &Furious co-star, Tyrese Gibson, broke down as he visited the scene of the accident yesterday. In a message posted on Instagram Gibson wrote: "My heart is hurting so bad no one can make me believe this is real..."
Walker, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, had been attending a charity event at the headquarters of Always Evolving prior to the accident. Witnesses said he and Rodas decided to take the red Porsche for a "joyride".
The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw says Walker was typecast as O'Conner, but didn't seem to mind. He loved the movies and did a lot of his own stunts.
"His great passion was for cars: he drove in the racing scene and his professional life as petrol-head cop Brian O'Conner appeared to mesh with his private life and celebrity persona," writes Bradshaw. "His death has an awful appropriate irony – and sad too."