On Saturday (6th July), Tracy Morgan was released from a rehabilitation centre following the accident he was involved in on 7th June. He and a number of other injured passengers filed a lawsuit on Friday (11th July) against Walmart, claiming the company should have known their truck driver, who hit the vehicle the actor and co. were travelling in, was extremely fatigued.
Tracy Morgan and the several people injured in the collision which led to the death of comedian James McNair at the beginning of June have filed a lawsuit against Walmart.
Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Walmart.
Morgan, best known for his role as Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock, was severely injured and hospitalised when a Walmart lorry hit the back of the limousine in which he was travelling on 7th June. Morgan was returning from a gig in Delaware when he was involved in a multicar pile up. Morgan was immediately rushed to hospital along with several others involved in the crash including Morgan's assistant Jeffrey Millea, comedians Ardie Fuqua Jr. and Harris Stanton. James McNair, AKA Jimmy Mack, was also travelling with Morgan but tragically lost his life as a result of the accident.
The driver of the Walmart lorry, Kevin Roper, was arrested soon after the incident and charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Roper, from Jonesboro, Georgia, pleaded not guilty. It is believed Roper fell asleep at the wheel after he had been awake for more than 24 consecutive hours.
Morgan was hospitalised for a number of weeks, leaving Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey on 20th June. He was moved to a rehabilitation centre from which he was released on Saturday (6th July). Morgan has wasted no time in filing a lawsuit against Walmart on behalf of himself, Millea and Fuqua. Millea's wife, Krista Millea, is also listed as a plaintiff.
Tracy Morgan spent more than a month is hospital and rehab following the incident.
The suit claims Walmart was responsible for the collision as the company should have been aware of Roper's fatigue and the long commute he faced before beginning his shift. Roper apparently had to drive more than 700 miles (approximately 11 hours driving time) to reach the depot in Delaware where he was due to begin his shift. As THR reports, Walmart should have employed Roper at a closer depot to his home in Georgia than the one in Delaware. The suit further claims Walmart frequently ignores the regulations set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding shift limits.
Morgan and the other plaintiffs are filing for the suit to be tried by a jury and are seeking compensatory, statutory and punitive damages and legal fees, among other things. Krista Millea, who was eight months pregnant at the time of the accident, is also filing for loss of consortium.
Walmart has responded to the lawsuit, apologising for the suffering of Morgan and the other plaintiffs and for the loss of McNair. In a statement, Walmart described the incident as a "terrible tragedy" and wished the plaintiffs full recoveries. The company also said "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."
Tracy Morgan with his partner Megan Wollover.