No one was laughing when news broke that a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer had crashed into comedian Tracy Morgan’s limousine van on the New Jersey Turnpike on June 7, 2014. The car crash severely injured Morgan and killed his friend, comedian James McNair. Other passengers, including Ardley Fuqua, also suffered injuries. Sadly the fatal car crash could have been avoided, as it was eventually revealed that the truck driver, Kevin Roper, had been awake for more than 24 hours when the car crash occurred. In 2017, the truck driver in the car crash pleaded guilty to a vehicular homicide under a plea agreement that let him avoid prison time. Following the crash, Morgan hired a car crash lawyer in order to file a negligence lawsuit against Wal-Mart.
After an investigation, a federal agency concluded that the driver of a Wal-Mart tractor trailer was the primary cause of the crash.
On July 10, 2014, Morgan’s car crash attorney filed the suit alleged that Walmart either knew or should have known that Roper hadn’t slept for more than 24 hours, alleging that before his shift, Walmart forced Roper to drive from his home in Jonesboro to a Walmart distribution center in Smyrna, Delaware, which is some 750 miles and over 11 hours, even though there were several other distribution centers much closer. Aided by a car accident attorney, Morgan’s lawsuit was filed on behalf of himself, comedian Ardie Fuqua, Morgan’s personal assistant Jeffrey Millea, and Millea’s wife Krista.
After much back and forth, Morgan and Wal-Mart eventually agreed to settlement in 2017. Terms of the settlement were confidential, and both sides agreed not to bring their claims again.
Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said in statement, “We are pleased to have resolved this matter.”
The amount that Wal-Mart paid to Morgan and Fuqua was not disclosed, but court documents suggest that the retailer might have paid more than $90 million for the settlement.
Like Tracy Morgan did in New Jersey, if you or someone you know has had a car accident, contact an experienced auto accident lawyer Washington DC by calling Cohen & Cohen at (202) 955-4529.
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