Actor Paul Walker attends the World Premiere of 'Fast and Furious 6' at Empire Leicester Square on May 7, 2013 in London, England.
Photograph by Tim P. Whitby—Getty Images
By Robert Hackett
November 17, 2015

Paul Walker, the late star of the high octane film franchise The Fast and the Furious, died in a car crash two years ago. He had been riding as a passenger in a 2005 Carrera GT made by Porsche (POAHF).

Last week the German carmaker filed legal papers aiming to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Meadow Walker, the actor’s daughter, in September. The company had earlier denied responsibility for the fatality.

“Mr. Walker’s death, and all other injuries or damages claimed, were the result of Mr. Walker’s own comparative fault,” said Porsche Cars of North America, an Atlanta, Ga.-based subsidiary of the auto manufacturer, in last week’s filing. “Mr. Walker knowingly and voluntarily assumed all risk, perils, and danger” in choosing to ride in the car, the filing said, while adding that these factors were “open and obvious and known to him.”

Porsche’s 7-page filing also alleges that vehicle in which Walker rode had been “abused and altered” and “misused and improperly maintained” by its owner. Walker, it continued, was “a knowledgeable and sophisticated user” of the car in question.

The legal claim filed by Meadow Walker said that the car lacked “features that could have prevented the accident or, at a minimum, allowed Paul Walker to survive the crash.”

A representative for Meadow Walker disputed Porsche’s defense in a statement.

It is beyond regrettable that Porsche is trying to deflect its own responsibility by blaming the victim — Paul Walker — for his own death by getting into the passenger seat of its Carrera GT. Contrary to Porsche’s assertions, the facts are clear: Paul was the passenger in a car that was not designed to protect its occupants, in a crash on a dry, empty straightaway in broad daylight and at speeds well below the vehicle’s advertised capabilities. …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.

Hollywood news sites are reporting that Comcast-owned (CMCSA) Universal movie studios are exploring plans to create spinoffs and sequels for the franchise. The latest film was a stunning success, raking in $1.5 billion worldwide. Vin Diesel, one of the series’ stars, producers, and creators, confirmed in September that three more films had been approved.

For more on the street racing series, watch this video about The Fast and the Furious 7’s box office debut.

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