The Fast and the Furious films revolve around a fantasy of speed and danger.
But when Hollywood heartthrob Paul Walker, a star of the franchise, died in a fiery 2013 car crash, the real-life risks involved in high-speed road racing became tragically apparent.
Walker, 40, was killed after the Porsche Carrera GT in which he was riding as a passenger crashed into a tree near a charity event in Santa Clarita, California, on Nov. 30, 2013, and burst into flames.
Gruesomely, it was later established that Walker survived the crash but was burned to death in the vehicle, trapped by his seat belt.
The car was subsequently determined to have been traveling at at least 80 mph when it hit a telephone pole.
Legal teams acting for Walker’s only daughter, Meadow, were swift to level accusations at the driver of the car—his business partner and top financial adviser Roger Rhodas—and Porsche, the manufacturers of the vehicle, arguing the car maker should have installed better technology that may have prevented the crash or enabled Walker to survive it.
Now, having already collected a $10.1 million settlement in 2016 from the estate of Rhodas, Meadow Walker has reportedly settled her wrongful-death lawsuit with Porsche, claiming design defects in their car contributed to her father’s death.
According to documents obtained by website The Blast, 18-year-old Meadow reached a resolution with Porsche on Oct. 16.
The terms of the settlement are confidential, and both parties are requesting that the wrongful-death case be dismissed.
The documents state that Paul Walker’s father also settled a separate lawsuit against Porsche, according to The Blast.
Meadow’s 2015 suit against the car company claimed her father initially survived the crash, but was unable to escape the wreckage after being trapped by the seat belt, and was burned alive.
Documents claimed the seat belt “snapped Walker’s torso back with thousands of pounds of force, thereby breaking his ribs and pelvis.”
Walker’s lawyers accused Porsche of knowing the Carrera GT had a history of “instability and control issues.”
In the lawsuit, obtained by ABC News, the paperwork cited the car’s 605-horsepower engine and top speed of 205 mph, coupled with its lack of “safety features that are found on well-designed racing cars or even Porsche’s least expensive road cars,” noting that those features “could have prevented that accident or, at a minimum, allowed Walker to survive the crash.”
The suit also alleged that the car company didn’t install an “electronic stability control system, which is specifically designed to protect against the swerving actions inherent in hyper-sensitive vehicles of this type.”
“The bottom line is that the Porsche Carrera GT is a dangerous car. It doesn’t belong on the street. And we shouldn’t be without Paul Walker or his friend, Roger Rhodas,” Meadow Walker’s lawyer, Jeff Milam, told ABC News at the time.
About two months after Meadow Walker filed her lawsuit, Porsche alleged that the actor “knowingly and voluntarily assumed all risk, perils, and danger in respect to the use of the subject 2005 Carrera GT.”
Porsche said that at the time of the car’s manufacture and sale, the 2005 Carrera GT was “state of the art” and that its abuse, alteration, and misuse “caused or contributed to the incident and to Mr. Walker’s death.”
People magazine reported that in court documents filed in November, Porsche alleged that “Mr. Walker... chose to conduct himself in a manner as to expose himself to such perils, dangers, and risks, thus assuming all the risks involved in using the vehicle.”
Walker, a surfer dude with blond hair and piercing blue eyes, was in the midst of filming Fast and Furious 7 at the time of his death.
He had been a key character in the franchise since its inception, starring opposite Vin Diesel as undercover LAPD officer Brian O’Conner.