Tracy Morgan sues Wal-Mart for crash that killed 1 - KMOV.com

Tracy Morgan sues Wal-Mart for crash that killed 1

Posted: Updated:
By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks
A six-car accident left actor Tracy Morgan in critical condition in New Jersey early Saturday, authorities said. By Stephanie Baumer A six-car accident left actor Tracy Morgan in critical condition in New Jersey early Saturday, authorities said. By Stephanie Baumer
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 17: Tracy Morgan visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on February 17, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) By Theo Wargo NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 17: Tracy Morgan visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on February 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) By Theo Wargo
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Actor Tracy Morgan (R)  arrives at the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) By Frazer Harrison LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Actor Tracy Morgan (R) arrives at the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 22, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) By Frazer Harrison

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Tracy Morgan has sued Wal-Mart over last month’s highway crash that seriously injured him and killed a fellow comedian.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, claims Wal-Mart was negligent when a driver of one of its tractor-trailers rammed into Morgan’s limousine van. The complaint 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 also alleges the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

“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 the complaint.

Photos: Tracy Morgan critical after 6-car collision

The June 7 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 and Krista Millea, who were injured as passengers in the limo, are also named as plaintiffs.

Morgan, the former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” star, suffered a broken leg and broken ribs in the crash and is currently in a rehabilitation center. Fuqua is recovering from crash-related injuries.

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 13 ½ hours at the time of the crash, the report concluded. Federal rules permit truck drivers to work up to 14 hours a day, with a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel.

Morgan, a New York City native, was returning from a standup performance at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Delaware when the crash occurred.

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

A message seeking comment from Wal-Mart was not immediately returned Saturday. An email seeking comment from Morgan’s publicist was not immediately answered.

 

Powered by Frankly