Tracy Morgan Is Suing Wal-Mart For Negligence After Fatal Accident (VIDEO)
In less-than-surprising news, Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart after the June 7 crash that took the life of one man and sent seven others to the hospital, including the 30 Rock star himself.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a lawsuit was filed Thursday, July 10 in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. Tracy and other injured parties are accusing Wal-Mart of negligence, since Walmart tractor-trailer driver Kevin Roper allegedly hit the limo van carrying Tracy and others, including comedian James McNair, who was killed in the crash.
The complaint alleges that Wal-Mart knew or should've known that Kevin had been "awake for more than 24 consecutive hours" ahead of the crash, leaving him too tired to drive. The driver had reportedly commuted 700 miles from his home in Jonesboro, Georgia, to a Walmart facility in Smyrna, Delaware, before beginning his shift.
The suit claims Wal-Mart knew or should've known it was "unreasonable" for Roper to drive 700 miles before his shift. They allege he fell asleep at the wheel right before the crash, as a result of fatigue. The suit continues against Wal-Mart, saying the company turns a blind eye to workers who break regulations about shift limits.
Kevin Roper has pleaded not guilty to death by auto and assault by auto charges. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, he was driving 65 mph in a 45-mph zone before the accident.
As a result of the accident, the lawsuit reads, Tracy Morgan sustained "severe painful bodily injuries, including but not limited to multiple fractures which required multiple surgeries, extensive medical treatment and will require significant physical rehabilitation." He is now in a rehab facility.
The plaintiffs include James McNair's wife, Krista Millea, plus Tracy's assistant, Jeffrey Millea, and comedian Ardie Fuqua. They’re asking for “compensatory and statutory damages, punitive damages, legal fees, as well as pre- and post judgment interest, among other things at a trial by jury.”
Here's a statement from Wal-Mart, via THR:
"This has been a terrible tragedy. We wish Mr. Morgan, Mr. Fuqua Jr., and Mr. Millea full recoveries. Our thoughts continue to go out to them, their families and friends, as well as to the families and friends of everyone involved, including Mr. McNair, who lost his life. We are deeply sorry that one of our trucks was involved. 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."
Stay tuned for any developments — and continue to send your healing thoughts to the injured parties and their families!