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James McNair was killed last June when friend and fellow comedian Tracy Morgan's tour bus collided with a Walmart truck on the New Jersey turnpike.
As E! News reported back in January, the 62-year-old funnyman's family reached a settlement with Walmart. At the time, however, the exact amount which would be awarded to McNair's children Jamel, 26, and Danita, 19, was confidential. Legal documents filed last month in Westchester's Surrogate Court have revealed, per ABC News and DNA Info, there was a $10 million payout to McNair's estate.
On Friday, a spokesperson for Walmart told E! News in a statement: "We cannot discuss the terms and conditions of the settlement, but we are glad to have reached an agreement. We deeply regret the loss of Mr. McNair as a result of the accident. Walmart worked closely with his family to ensure their wellbeing. Walmart will continue to work to conclude all of the remaining issues and we're committed to doing what's right."
Of the $10 million amount previously mentioned, $7 million reportedly went to McNair's children while their lawyer, Daryl Zaslow, took nearly a $3 million cut. So why is this reported settlement amount, which was initially not disclosed, coming to light? Per ABC News, Zaslow (the McNair family's attorney) made the $10 million figure public in court papers in order to support his request for nearly $3 million in legal fees.
In last month's court filling, Zaslow reportedly stated that securing such a substantial settlement from Walmart wasn't easy to obtain because McNair wasn't making a lot of money at the time of his death.
"Although many of my colleagues insisted that the strategy would not be successful, and for many months of negotiations this assessment of damages was not being entertained by counsel for Wal-Mart, through months of heated negotiations, [I] was able to convince Wal-Mart to view the damages through this rather unorthodox approach," Zaslow wrote in his filing.
Danita McNair expressed her gratitude to the family's lawyer in an affidavit, writing, "While no amount of money could replace my father, the amount of money Mr. Zaslow was able to obtain again greatly exceeds anything I imagined and I could not be more grateful."
As for Morgan, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in the fatal crash? He filed his own lawsuit against Walmart in July 2014 that has yet to be settled.
—Reporting by Ruth O'Neill, Baker Machado and Lindsay Good