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Porsche sued over actor death crash

Tue, 13 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700

THE WIDOW of the man who was driving a Porsche sports car that crashed and killed Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker is suing the car maker.

She is claiming that design flaws caused both men to die in the crash in November.

The wrongful death lawsuit by Kristine Rodas says her husband was driving at 55mph - not at unsafe speeds as law enforcement investigators decided - before it crashed last year.

Roger Rodas was driving a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT capable of speeds more than 200mph, but his wife's lawsuit says the vehicle lacked a proper crash cage and safety features in the petrol tank that would have saved both men's lives.

The lawsuit also contends that a failure in the car's suspension system forced it to career out of control and strike three trees while driving down a street in Santa Clarita, California.

"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," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Porsche Cars North America, which did not immediately comment.

Kristine Rodas' lawyer, Mark Geragos, said he hired the most senior experts in the country to evaluate the wreckage and crash.

The results, he said, were an unbiased look at the accident that refutes an official investigation that decided the sports car was speeding at up to 94mph when it crashed.

The results of an investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol were released in March and concluded that it was unsafe speed and not mechanical problems that caused the crash.

That investigation was aided by engineers from Porsche, who evaluated the wreckage of the rare car.

The differing opinions on the crash will probably be a part of any trial over the lawsuit, which could take years to resolve.

Roger Rodas was trained as a race car driver, according to his wife's lawsuit. He left behind two young children on his death.

Walker, the star of the Fast & Furious film franchise, co-owned a car racing team with Mr Rodas named Always Evolving.

Walker's death occurred on a break in the filming of Fast & Furious 7, and the actor's two brothers are helping complete action scenes in the film.

The film's release has been delayed until April 2015.

By Press Association reporters