Tracy Morgan, the well-known comedian and actor, is suing Walmart regarding the highway crash in which he was seriously injured last month, according to Fox News on Saturday. The New Jersey crash also killed a comedian who was amongst those traveling with Morgan. The lawsuit which was filed in United States District Court in New Jersey claims that Walmart was negligent when one of its tractor-trailer drivers crashed into the limousine in which Morgan was traveling.
In the lawsuit, it is claimed that Walmart should have known the driver of the tractor-trailer had been awake for more than 24 hours. Additionally, it is claimed that Walmart should have known that the driver’s 700-mile commute from his home in Georgia to his work in Delaware was unreasonable. The lawsuit also makes the allegation that the driver fell asleep at the wheel of the vehicle which caused the deadly crash. The complaint against the retail chain says that as a result of Walmart’s gross, reckless, willful, wanton, and intentional conduct, it should be appropriately punished with the imposition of punitive damages.
Other plaintiffs named in the lawsuit are comedian Ardley Fuqua, Jeffrey Millea and Krista Millea. They were also passengers in the limousine at the time of the crash. James McNair, also known as Jimmy Mack, was killed in the crash. The accident occurred on June 7 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Morgan, the former star of “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live,” is still in rehabilitation with a broken leg and broken ribs caused by the crash. Fuqua is also still recovering from injuries that were caused by the accident.
Kevin Roper - the 36-year-old truck driver from Jonesboro, Georgia who was driving at the time of the accident – has pleaded not guilty to death by auto and assault by auto charges in the incident, according to Yahoo! News. The criminal complaint against Roper also accuses him of having not slept for more than 24 hours prior to the accident. Not sleeping for that length of time and operating a vehicle is against the law in New Jersey.
Additionally, according to a report by federal transportation safety investigators, Roper was driving with excessive speed. He was said to have been driving 65 miles per hour in the 60 seconds before the accident occurred. The speed limit on that part of the turnpike is 55 miles per hour but was lowered to 45 miles per hour at the time of the accident due to construction in the area. Roper was on the job for some 13-1/2 hours when the crash occurred. Federal rules allow truck drivers to work up to 14 hours a day but only a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel.