UPDATE: Tracy Morgan has settled a lawsuit with Walmart nearly one year after a car crash that critically injured him and killed his friend James McNair. Details of the settlement were undisclosed, according to The Associated Press, but Walmart called the settlement “amicable.” Kevin Roper, the Walmart truck driver involved in the crash, still faces several criminal charges in state court.
Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Walmart over the deadly car crash that killed his friend James McNair and left Morgan badly injured.
THR reports that the comedian, along with three others, filed the suit on Thursday in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey. “Walmart was careless and negligent in the ownership and operation of its motor vehicle, which caused Mr. Morgan to suffer severe personal injuries,” the complaint reads. “As a direct and proximate result of said collision, Mr. Morgan was caused to sustain severe painful bodily injuries, including but not limited to multiple fractures which required multiple surgeries, extensive medical treatment and will require significant physical rehabilitation.”
Morgan was a passenger in a limo bus on June 7th when a Walmart truck collided with the vehicle on the New Jersey Turnpike. He was hospitalized with broken ribs, a broken nose and a broken leg. Several other people were injured in the crash and fellow passenger McNair was killed. A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board found that the Walmart truck had been traveling 20 miles per hour over the speed limit and that its driver, Walmart employee Kevin Roper, had nearly reached his drive time limit.
The lawsuit claims that Roper was fatigued at the time of the accident and that “Walmart knew or should have known” that he had been “awake for more than 24 consecutive hours” before the crash. It also said that Roper had commuted 700 miles to a Walmart facility before beginning his shift and that Walmart does not ensure that its workers follow shift limit regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. “Walmart not only failed to condemn, but condoned this practice of its drivers routinely violating the F.M.S.C.A. Regulations,” the suit says.
The other three plaintiffs in the suit are Morgan’s assistant, Jeffrey Millea, his wife Krista Millea, and comedian Ardie Fuqua. They are seeking compensatory, statutory and punitive damages and legal fees, among other things.
Walmart said in a statement that it wished Morgan, Millea and Fuqua full recoveries, calling the incident a “terrible tragedy.” “We are deeply sorry that one of our trucks was involved,” the statement read. “As we’ve said, we’re cooperating fully in the ongoing investigation. We know it will take some time to resolve all of the remaining issues as a result of the accident, but we’re committed to doing the right thing for all involved.”
In happier news, Reuters reports that Morgan was released from a rehabilitation center on Saturday, a little over a month after the crash. He will continue recuperating at home.