Actor Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) over a New Jersey Turnpike accident that killed one and injured four, including the former star of “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live.”
The civil suit was filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey against the company, which owned the truck that allegedly struck the comedian’s limousine van on June 7. It alleges “Wal-Mart was careless and negligent in the ownership and operation of its motor vehicle,” according to the Hollywood Reporter, which is hosting a copy of the complaint on its site. The collision claimed the life of comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, one of Morgan’s friends.
“As a direct and proximate result of said collision, Mr. Morgan was caused to sustain severe painful bodily injuries, including but not limited to multiple fractures which required multiple surgeries, extensive medical treatment and will require significant physical rehabilitation,” the complaint states.
The four plaintiffs -- Morgan; Morgan’s personal assistant, Jeffrey Millea; Millea’s wife, Krista Millea; and comedian Ardley Fuqua Jr. -- are seeking actual, compensatory and punitive damages, legal fees, and “any and all such further relief as this court deems just and proper.”
The suit alleges Wal-Mart driver Kevin Roper, who was charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto in the wake of the accident, as CNN reported, had been “awake for more than 24 consecutive hours” before the crash and that “Wal-Mart knew, or should have known” about it. It also alleges Roper fell asleep at the wheel immediately before the crash because of his exhaustion.
Wal-Mart expressed its regret over the accident in a statement, the Hollywood Reporter said.
“This has been a terrible tragedy. We wish Mr. Morgan, Mr. Fuqua Jr., and Mr. Millea full recoveries," the statement reads. “Our thoughts continue to go out to them, their families and friends, as well as to the families and friends of everyone involved, including Mr. McNair who lost his life. We are deeply sorry that one of our trucks was involved. As we’ve said, we’re cooperating fully in the ongoing investigation. We know it will take some time to resolve all of the remaining issues as a result of the accident, but we’re committed to doing the right thing for all involved.”