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Porsche sued in Walker-Rodas crash

By Jane Caffrey, CNN
updated 12:00 PM EDT, Sun May 18, 2014
Paul Walker, a star of the "Fast & Furious" movie franchise, died Saturday, November 30, 2013, in a car crash. He was 40. For more about his life and career, watch "Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane" Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET. Paul Walker, a star of the "Fast & Furious" movie franchise, died Saturday, November 30, 2013, in a car crash. He was 40. For more about his life and career, watch "Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane" Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET.
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Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
Paul Walker: Life in the Fast Lane
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Porsche is being sued over the fatal crash that killed Paul Walker and race car driver Roger Rodas
  • Rodas' widow filed the suit, citing negligence, product liability and wrongful death
  • Porsche denies any wrongdoing

For a portrait of the uncommon star from those who knew him, watch "CNN Spotlight: Paul Walker" at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday.

(CNN) -- Roger Rodas' widow is suing Porsche for the fatal accident that claimed the lives of her race car driver husband and actor Paul Walker.

Kristine Rodas filed the suit this week against Porsche Cars North America, citing negligence as the cause of death of her husband and the 40-year-old "Fast and the Furious" star on November 30 in Santa Clarita, California. Backed by celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, she is also suing for product liability and wrongful death.

Paul Walker's death 'gruesome and swift'
Report: Walker going 100+ MPH in crash

Roger Rodas, 38 at the time of his death, spent his competitive racing career driving Porsche cars. According to the court documents, he and Walker first met on the race track when Rodas was driving a Porsche owned by the actor. A few years later the two men formed the racing team Always Evolving Racing, where they were both drivers.

"Although Mr. Rodas had a passion for cars, Mr. Rodas was first and foremost dedicated to his family, his wife, Kristine, and their two young children," the complaint states.

The court documents filed by Kristine Rodas describe the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT that her husband was driving as a an "ultra-high-performance-super-sports car for the road," that goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 205 miles per hour. The complaint argues that such a high-powered sports car should have a higher standard of crash protection, and that a mechanical malfunction forced Rodas to veer off the road.

Geragos also hired investigators to evaluate wreckage at the scene, who determined that Rodas was driving 55 mph before the vehicle went out of control. This contradicts the Los Angeles County coroner's report that car was speeding at more than 100 mph, and the investigations by the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Office and California Highway Patrol that focused on speed.

Porsche pointed to the discrepancy.

"As you know, the crash was subject of a very detailed investigation by the authorities, both the California Highway Patrol and the L.A. County Sheriff's Office," said Bernd Harling, Head of Public Relations for Porsche Cars North America. "The reports showed that driving at a high speed in a negligent manner caused the crash. Both concluded that there was no mechanical defect of the vehicle involved."

"Their investigation disproves in the allegations in the lawsuit."

Harling added that since the crash is now the subject of litigation, Porsche will not comment on it further. He expressed his sincere condolences for the Rodas and Walker families' losses.

Walker's former publicist Ame Van Iden does not have information about whether the Walker family is also considering legal action against Porsche.

Walker is survived by his parents, Cheryl Walker and Paul Walker Sr., four siblings and 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.

CNN's Carolyn Sung contributed to this report.

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