Tracy Morgan sues Walmart for crash

2014-07-12T08:05:00Z 2014-07-12T19:30:05Z Tracy Morgan sues Walmart for crashThe Associated Press The Associated Press
July 12, 2014 8:05 am  • 

TRENTON, N.J. — Former “Saturday Night Live” star Tracy Morgan has sued Walmart over a highway crash involving one of its drivers that left him seriously injured and a fellow comedian dead.

Morgan was released from a rehabilitation facility as he heals from serious injuries he suffered in a car crash that left a fellow comedian dead, his spokesman said Saturday.

Morgan will continue his recovery at home with an “aggressive outpatient program,” spokesman Lewis Kay said.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, claims Walmart was negligent when a driver of one of its tractor-trailers rammed into Morgan’s limousine van June 7. The complaint claims the retail giant should have known that its driver had been awake for over 24 hours and that his commute of 700 miles from his home in Georgia to work in Delaware was “unreasonable.” It also alleges the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

“As a result of Walmart’s gross, reckless, willful, wanton, and intentional conduct, it should be appropriately punished with the imposition of punitive damages,” according to the complaint.

Morgan’s lawsuit seeks a jury trial and punitive and compensatory damages.

In a statement issued Saturday, Walmart reiterated that it was “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,” Walmart said.

The wreck on the New Jersey Turnpike killed 62-year-old comedian James McNair, who went by the name Jimmy Mack. Comedian Ardley Fuqua and Jeffrey Millea, who were injured as passengers in the limo, are also named as plaintiffs.

Morgan, the former “30 Rock” star, suffered a broken leg and broken ribs in the crash and is now in a rehabilitation center.



Truck driver Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Georgia, has pleaded not guilty to death by auto and assault by auto charges. A criminal complaint also accuses him of not sleeping for more than 24 hours before the crash, a violation of New Jersey law.

A report by federal transportation safety investigators said Roper was driving 65 mph in the 60 seconds before he slammed into the limo van. The speed limit on that stretch of the turnpike is 55 mph and was lowered to 45 mph that night because of construction.

Roper had been on the job about 13½ hours at the time of the crash, the report concluded.



An email seeking comment from Morgan’s publicist was not immediately answered Saturday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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