Tracy Morgan's condition may be more serious than anyone not personally connected with the comedian may have realized.
More than five months after being involved in a six-vehicle pileup that left a friend of his dead and three others injured, the 30 Rock star is "doing better," but still struggling after suffering a traumatic brain injury and broken bones, according to his attorney, Benedict Morelli.
"Mr. Morgan is a fighter," Morelli told reporters, per NJ.com, outside the federal courthouse in Trenton, where attorneys from both sides in Morgan's negligence lawsuit against Walmart met to set up future hearing dates.
"He's fighting to get better," Morelli added. "If there's a chance to be back to the Tracy Morgan he once was, he is going to try to do that. We just don't know. But is he doing much better?
"He's doing better."
Morgan and others were traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike, having just performed a show in Delaware on the night of June 7, when a Walmart truck slammed into their party van. The driver of the truck, Kevin Roper, has pleaded not guilty to one count of vehicular manslaughter in the death of James "Jimmy Mac" McNair and four counts of assault by auto.
Attorneys for Walmart, which right after the crash said it would take its share of the responsibility if the state of the truck was found to be a factor in the accident, stated in court documents filed in September that Morgan's injuries "were caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs' failure to properly wear an appropriate available seatbelt restraint device."
In response, Morgan said, "I can't believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident that they caused. My friends and I were doing nothing wrong. I want to thank my fans for sticking with me during this difficult time. I love you all. I'm fighting hard every day to get back."
"We are hoping and praying to get him back to the way he was," Morelli also said today. "But the jury's out."
Morelli took a big swipe at Walmart last month after the seatbelt back and forth, telling Page Six regarding the big-box retailer, "These people are despicable. They knew that they changed these people's lives forever and killed somebody. They're good blame shifters. I guess that's how they make $783 billion a year, shifting the blame."
Chris Rock told USA Today in October that he had visited Morgan at home and that his fellow entertainer was doing "OK."
"He's got physical therapists," Rock said. "There's a lot of rehab going on. He's traumatized—his friend died."