Tracy Morgan Sues Wal-Mart Over Fatal Crash That Left Him Seriously Injured

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 12 2014 1:56 PM

Tracy Morgan Sues Wal-Mart Over Fatal Crash That Left Him Seriously Injured

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Tracy Morgan arrives at the 2010 White House Correspondents' Dinner

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Comedian Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart for the June 7 highway crash that left him seriously injured and killed fellow comedian James McNair. The actor best known for his time in Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock claims the retail giant was negligent when one of its drivers crashed into the limousine van in which Morgan and several others were traveling back from a show. The lawsuit, which was filed on Thursday and first reported by the New York Post, says the company should have known that 35-year-old Kevin Roper had been “awake for more than 24 consecutive hours” before the accident.

The lawsuit claims Wal-Mart “had a custom and practice of recklessly and intentionally allowing its drivers to drive for prolonged and unreasonable periods of time” and claims Roper drove more than 700 miles from Georgia to Delaware before even beginning his shift, notes the Wrap. It also claims Roper was asleep at the time of the crash. Morgan is seeking a jury trial and punitive and compensatory damages, reports the Associated Press.

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Federal investigators say Roper was traveling 20 miles per hour above the speed limit right before he crashed but Roper has pleaded not guilty on charges of vehicular homicide and assault-by-auto. Wal-Mart released a statement saying it is cooperating with the 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," the statement said, according to Reuters.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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