In a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, Tracy Morgan sues Walmart over a fatal car crash in which he was seriously injured and his good friend, comedian James McNair, was killed.
After an investigation into the accident, it was found that the driver of the tractor-trailer, which caused the crash, had been awake for over 24 hours. In his complaint Morgan says the mega-retailer 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.”
Driver, Kevin Roper, is currently facing charges of death by auto and assault by auto, both of which he pled not guilty to. He also says he never fell asleep at the wheel, a claim refuted in Morgan’s complaint.
Morgan and several friends were heading home from a gig last month when the Mercedes Sprinter he and his five-friend entourage were traveling in was struck by a Walmart truck. Images of the mangled limo give photographic evidence of just how serious the crash was. Morgan, who was initially listed in critical condition, spent weeks in the hospital after the accident and is now recovering in a rehabilitation center.
Now via his lawsuit he says, “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.”
According to a post-accident investigation, Roper was driving about 65 mph in a 45 mph stretch of highway 60 seconds before the crash. He had reportedly been driving about 13.5 hours at the time of the accident. Federal rules only allow for 14-hour work days with a maximum 11 hours behind the wheel.
Morgan’s lawsuit, which has three other plaintiffs, seeks a jury trial and punitive and compensatory damages.
Do you think Walmart should be the one at fault or does the driver hold some responsibility as well?