New York native and comedian Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit in New Jersey’s U.S. District Court along with three other plaintiffs against corporate behemoth Walmart over the June 7 wreck on the New Jersey Turnpike. That accident killed a member of Morgan’s entourage and seriously injured him.
The complaint alleges negligence on the part of Walmart for their truck driver falling asleep behind the wheel after being awake for more than 24 hours. It further states that the company should have been aware that the driver had not slept and says it is “unreasonable” for the 35-year-old man to commute 700 miles to work in Delaware from his Jonesboro, Georgia, home.
Morgan and the others in the limousine van were headed back to New York City following a comedy gig in Delaware at the time of the motor vehicle accident. He is recovering from multiple fractured ribs and a broken leg. Another passenger also is recovering from injuries from the motor vehicle accident.
The petition also asks for punitive damages as well as compensatory damages for “Walmart’s gross, reckless, willful, wanton, and intentional conduct,” for which the retail giant “should be appropriately punished.”
The trucker faces criminal charges as well and has entered a not guilty plea to assault by auto and death by auto charges. In another criminal complaint, he is accused of violating a New Jersey law that prohibits truckers from going so long without resting.
Going after the corporations that turn a blind eye to the flouting of federal regulations in order for their drivers to remain behind the wheel is one way to deter this deadly practice.
Source: WCAU, “Tracy Morgan Sues Walmart for Deadly Crash” Jul. 12, 2014