Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart over the deadly six-vehicle crash that left him with critical injuries and was allegedly caused by one of the retail giant's truck drivers.
The papers were signed on July 10, submitted to a New Jersey court and also name fellow passengers Ardley Fuqua, a comic, and Morgan's personal assistant Jeffrey Millea, plus the man's wife Krista, as plaintiffs. The lawsuit, which was obtained by E! News, claims Wal-Mart was "careless and negligent in the ownership and operation of its motor vehicle, which caused Mr. Morgan to suffer severe personal injuries." The case remains under investigation.
On June 7, the 45-year-old comedian, former "SNL" and "30 Rock" actor and father of four was riding in a limo bus with his entourage on a highway in New Jersey when a Wal-Mart semi-truck (also known as a tractor-trailer or big rig), slammed into it, causing it to overturn. Comedian James McNair, known as Jimmy Mack, 62, was riding with Morgan and died in the crash, which also involved five other vehicles. Morgan and other passengers were hospitalized.
"As a direct and proximate result of the physical injuries sustained by Mr. Morgan in the collision, he has been incapacitated from pursuing his usual employment and other activities, may be left with disabilities that will in the future similarly incapacitate him and cause him pain and suffering, and may require medical treatment," the lawsuit states.
"This has been a terrible tragedy," a Wal-Mart rep said in a statement to E! News on Saturday, July 12. "We wish Mr. Morgan, Mr. Fuqua Jr., and Mr. Millea full recoveries. 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," the company added. "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."
Wal-Mart truck driver Kevin Roper, who was on the job at the time, faces charges of vehicular homicide and four counts of assault by auto and has pleaded not guilty.
Investigators had said last month that Roper had been working for 13 and a half hours and had been speeding by about 20 miles over the limit just before the crash. Morgan's lawsuit claims Roper had been awake for over 24 hours, which it says Wal-Mart "knew or should have known," and that he had fallen asleep at the wheel. Federal regulations allow truck drivers to work up to 14 hours a day, with a maximum of 11 behind the wheel.
The actor and the other plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial and punitive and compensatory damages.
—Reporting by Marcus Mulick