The latest Tracy Morgan lawsuit update has Wal-Mart’s legal team filing a response stating that Morgan’s injuries were the result of his own negligence. Morgan filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart for the damages he sustained in the June 7, 2014 crash involving his Mercedes-Benz limo bus and a Wal-Mart truck.
Tracy Morgan’s Accident
The accident took place on the New Jersey Turnpike when a Wal-Mart truck, driven by employee Kevin Roper, slammed into the back of Morgan’s limo bus. Morgan suffered broken ribs, a broken leg, and a broken nose. One passenger, comedian James McNair, died in the accident, and the all the other passengers sustained injuries as well.
Morgan sued Wal-Mart for the accident, claiming that the company was negligent and careless. Morgan’s lawsuit noted that Wal-Mart was in violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations. Roper had been awake for more than 24 hours at the time the accident occurred, which greatly increases driver fatigue and increases the risk of crashing.
Also, a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board stated that Roper had been traveling in excess of 20 mph over the speed limit. Speeding violations can also be considered a form of negligence in car accident lawsuits.
Wal-Mart Deflects Blame for the Accident
In answer to the suit, Wal-Mart filed a 28-page response stating that Morgan’s injuries were actually his own fault because he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. The response stated, “[The victims’ injuries were] caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seat belt restraint device.”
Wal-Mart’s response essentially said that Morgan and his passengers acted unreasonably and disregarded their own safety by not wearing a seatbelt. The company also deflected blame onto a potential third party, stating that the injuries “may have been caused by third parties over whom Wal-Mart had no control.”
When Both Parties are at Fault
What happens if the courts find that both Morgan and Wal-Mart are partly at fault for the injuries? When this occurs, the New Jersey courts will follow a rule known as the “modified comparative fault” rule.
- The plaintiff (Morgan) can still recover damages for the accident so long as he was less than 51 percent at fault.
- If the plaintiff wins the case, his settlement will be reduced by his degree of fault. (Morgan has yet to release the total estimated amount of damages, but for the sake of illustration, if his damages total $1 million and he’s 10 percent at fault, he will only receive $900,000.)
The Tracy Morgan Lawsuit Trial
The case is still underway, as is the National Transportation Safety Board investigation. As such, neither Morgan’s or Wal-Mart’s representatives are addressing the issue with media at this time. Wal-Mart’s legal defense has requested a trial by jury.
To stay up to date on topics of interest such as these, feel free to view the posts in our News Section. For legal questions about personal injuries or car accidents in Morrisville, you may contact Cordisco & Saile LLC. For a free consultation call 215-642-2335.