American actor, Tracy Morgan has been released from a rehabilitation facility as he heals from serious injuries he suffered in the June 7 car crash and is suing Walmart over the accident that left him seriously injured and another man dead when one of the company’s sleep-deprived truckers plowed into their limo van.
The suit, filed in US District Court in New Jersey, claims Walmart was responsible for the crash, and alleges the company should have been aware that driver Kevin Roper, 35, had been “awake for more than 24 consecutive hours” before the accident, which also injured four others.
“Walmart was careless and negligent in the ownership and operation of its motor vehicle, which caused Mr. Morgan to suffer severe personal injuries. As a direct and proximate result of said collision, Mr. Morgan was caused to sustain severe painful bodily injuries, including but not limited to multiple fractures which required multiple surgeries, extensive medical treatment and will require significant physical rehabilitation” the complaint states.
In addition to claiming that Roper was exhausted when he crashed his 18-wheeler, the suit alleges he had driven more than 700 miles from his home in Jonesboro, Ga., to a Walmart distribution center in Smyrna, Del., before beginning his shift.
“Walmart was careless and negligent in the ownership and operation of its motor vehicle, which caused Mr. Morgan to suffer severe personal injuries,” the suit reads.
Roper, who was driving 65 mph in a 45 mph zone at the time of the accident, was quickly approaching the company’s limit of 14 hours on the clock, and had been driving for nine hours and 37 minutes straight, investigators concluded.
Morgan’s pal and fellow comedian James McNair, 63, who was known in the comedy world as “Jimmy Mack,” was killed.The tired driver’s tractor-trailer rear-ended a limo carrying Morgan and five others on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Morgan had been in critical condition with several broken ribs and a broken leg before being moved to a rehabilitation facility on June 20. Morgan and three other plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and statutory damages, punitive damages and legal fees. They also want Roper to go before a jury. Roper pleaded not guilty to charges of death-by-auto and assault charges.