Wal-Mart May be Liable for Personal Injuries and Wrongful Death in Truck Crash that Injured Actor and Comedian Tracy Morgan
A personal injury lawsuit has been filed by actor/comedian Tracy Morgan against retail giant Wal-Mart for damages arising out of a car and truck collision that occurred June 7 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Morgan suffered serious injuries, including several broken bones, and was in critical condition in the hours and days following the accident. The complaint against Wal-Mart alleges damages including medical treatment and rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and the present loss of employment as well as possible future diminished capacity.
Other passengers injured in the crash have also joined in the complaint, including Morgan’s personal assistant Jeffrey Millea and fellow comedian Ardley Fuqua, Jr. Millea’s wife Krista is also a named plaintiff in the lawsuit. She is suing for loss of society and loss of consortium with her husband because of the accident.
Another comedian traveling with Morgan in the Mercedes Sprinter limousine bus was James McNair. McNair died of injuries sustained in the collision. Although not named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, the estate of McNair could likely bring a wrongful death action against Wal-Mart as well.
The driver of the truck was employed by Wal-Mart Transportation LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores, inc. The driver, Kevin Roper, is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. He is currently facing criminal charges in New Jersey for Death by Auto and Assault by Auto. It is alleged that he was speeding at the time of the accident and failed to slow in response to traffic conditions – including a construction zone – due to driver fatigue and lack of sleep.
As Roper’s employer, Wal-Mart may be liable for the negligence of its employee and the resulting injuries. The complaint also alleges negligence on the part of Wal-Mart for putting a driver behind the wheel for a long shift after a 700-mile commute and for negligently maintaining the semitrailer’s automatic brakes and collision-avoidance systems.