Tracy Morgan Suing Wal-Mart for Personal Injury in Truck Accident
Comedian and actor Tracy Morgan, former star of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and their wholly-owned subsidiary Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC, seeking compensation for injuries sustained when a Wal-Mart semi-truck rear-ended Morgan’s limousine bus on the New Jersey Turnpike last month. Morgan suffered multiple fractures and was in critical condition when first transported to the hospital, although as of this writing he has been released from the hospital and rehab center where he was being cared for. Other passengers in the car, fellow comedian Ardley Fuqua and Morgan’s assistant Jeffrey Millea, have also joined the lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries. The other plaintiff in the suit is Krista Millea, Jeffrey Millea’s wife, who is suing for loss of consortium and loss of services.
Another passenger in the car, comedian James McNair (Jimmy Mack) was killed in the truck crash. A separate wrongful death lawsuit may possibly be filed by surviving family members or a representative of the estate.
The lawsuit is filed directly against Wal-Mart and alleges several counts of negligence and reckless or intentional misconduct on the part of the retail giant. Allegations in the complaint include:
- Wal-Mart unreasonably assigned the driver to report to a distribution facility 700 miles away from his home, requiring him to drive for many hours before beginning a long driving shift
- Wal-Mart either knew or should have known that the driver had been awake for over 24 hours before the accident
- Wal-Mart either knew or should have known that the driver’s hours of service were out of compliance with regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- The truck’s collision avoidance systems, including automatic braking, were not working properly
In addition to compensation for the parties’ medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering, the complaint also asks that punitive damages be awarded to punish Wal-Mart for its negligence and misconduct and to serve as an example to other companies in the transportation industry.