Tracy Morgan is partly to blame for the horrific injuries he sustained after an accident with a Walmart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike in June, the company is claiming, the Associated Press reported Monday. Walmart is reportedly placing responsibility on the comedian since he did not wear a seatbelt.
Passengers' injuries were caused "in whole or in part" by their "failure to properly wear an appropriate available seatbelt restraint device," which it said constitutes unreasonable conduct, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said in a federal filing Monday, the AP wrote.
Brooke Buchanan, spokesperson for Walmart, issued a statement late Monday, via USA Today: "Wal-Mart filed its official response to the plaintiffs' lawsuit earlier today, and the company continues to stand willing to work with Mr. Morgan and the other plaintiffs to resolve this matter."
An attorney that represented the “30 Rock” star and other plaintiffs said Walmart's disputes were "surprising and appalling."
"It's disingenuous," Morgan’s attorney, Benedict Morelli, said. "It's not what they said they were going to do initially, which was take full responsibility. I'm very upset, not for myself but for the families I represent."
Walmart did not make a statement about responsibility falling on the driver, Kevin Roper, since it is an “ongoing investigation” and would not even acknowledge if the driver was an employee of the company, TMZ added.
Attorneys for Morgan question whether the company should have known if Roper was “fatigued” when he caused the six-car pile-up, MTV News wrote. Roper has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and assault by auto.
Morgan sued Walmart in July after the accident left him seriously injured, and killed his friend and fellow comedian Jimmy Mack, also known as James McNair. Morgan spent days in intensive care and weeks in rehab. He has not fully recovered, and it could be months until he can fully walk again, USA Today reported.
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