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Judge finds Porsche isn’t responsible for crash that killed Paul Walker

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Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

A judge said this week that Porsche was not responsible for the crash in a Porsche Carrera GT that killed actor Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas, who was driving. The decision came in a lawsuit filed by Rodas' widow, Kristine Rodas.

The lawsuit claimed that Rodas died in the crash because of a lack of safety features in the car, including that the car lacked a safety cage and fuel cell, as well as that the car's suspension failed before the crash. The judge wrote in a decision, however, that Mrs. Rodas "provided no competent evidence" that her husband's death "occurred as a result of any wrongdoing on the part of" Porsche.

Porsche Carrera GT
A Porsche Carrera GT, the model of car Paul Walker and Roger Rodas were killed in. (Porsche)

Two other lawsuits stemming from the crash are moving through the court system, filed against Porsche by Paul Walker's father and daughter. In the lawsuit filed by Meadow Walker, Paul's daughter, Porsche claimed the car had been "abused and altered" and "misused and improperly maintained." The German company said Paul Walker would have been well aware of the dangers of driving the Carrera GT, and that his willingness to ride in the car should keep Porsche from being found liable for the accident.

In a statement to The Verge, Jeff Milam, the attorney for Meadow Walker, noted that the cases filed on behalf of Roger Rodas and Paul Walker were different and this ruling has no effect on her lawsuit.

Today's ruling by a federal judge in favor of Porsche Cars North America against Rodas has no effect on Meadow Walker's lawsuit that is pending against Porsche AG, Porsche Cars North America, and Beverly Hills Porsche in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The issues in the cases are very different. The federal case was filed on behalf of Roger Rodas, who was the driver of the Porsche Carrera GT and was killed instantly upon impact. Meadow's father, Paul Walker, was a passenger in the car. He survived the crash but was trapped and burned to death because of the vehicle's defects.

A significant portion of the judge's decision was based on his rejection of evidence because of missed deadlines and also a failure to sue Porsche AG, the manufacturer.

Meadow will continue the fight to hold Porsche accountable for selling a defective product that kills.

Mrs. Rodas' lawyer said the ruling will be appealed.

Updated 04:30PM ET: Added comment from Meadow Walker's attorney.