Comedian Tracy Morgan is suing Walmart after being involved in a deadly crash that left him critically injured and cost one of his passengers his life. According to CNN, the complaint was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey.
In the early morning hours of June 7, a Walmart truck impacted Morgan’s limo causing a collision involving several other vehicles. The truck is said to have been traveling 20 mph over the speed limit and the driver was almost at his drive time limit according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Morgan suffered broken ribs, a broken nose and a broken leg as a result of the crash. Fellow comedian and passenger, James McNair aka “Jimmy Mack” was killed. Comedian Ardley Fuqua and Jeffrey and Krista Millea, who were injured as passengers in the limo, are also named as plaintiffs.
The complaint states:
“The defendants’ negligence was a substantial contributing factor in causing plaintiffs’ injuries.”
“As a result of Wal-Mart’s gross, reckless, willful, wanton, and intentional conduct, it should be appropriately punished with the imposition of punitive damages.”
The complaint also claims the retail giant should have known the 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 alleges the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
Kevin Roper, the man driving for Walmart that morning, pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto last month. The 35-year-old Jonesboro, Georgia driver is accused of not sleeping for more than 24 hours, a violation of New Jersey law.
Unfortunately a lawsuit will not make up for the injuries and losses of those involved, but we hope it can be an example on how much driving and labor laws need to be enforced. We hope justice is served.