Tracy Morgan filed a lawsuit Thursday against Walmart in a New Jersey U.S. District Court over the accident with a company owned truck that left the comedian and 30 Rock actor and two friends with severe injuries and killed 62-year old comedian James McNair. Wamart released a statement Saturday in response to the lawsuit that didn’t directly address the concerns of the lawsuit but said that the company is committed to “doing the right thing.”
“This has been a terrible tragedy. We wish Mr. Morgan, Mr. Fuqua Jr., and Mr. Millea full recoveries,” Walmart said in a statement obtained by NBC Philadelpha. “Our thoughts continue to go out to them, their families and friends, as well as to the families and friends of everyone involved, including Mr. McNair who lost his life. We are deeply sorry that one of our trucks was involved. As we’ve said, we’re cooperating fully in the ongoing 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 wreck occurred on the New Jersey turnpike on June 7 when the Walmart truck driven by Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Georgia crashed into Morgan’s limo van carrying Morgan and his group of fellow comedians and friends while allegedly trying to avoid slower traffic.
According to the NTSB, Roper was going 65 mph in a 45 mph construction zone and he allegedly had been awake for more than 24 hours prior to the crash. The truck driver was charged with vehicular homicide and is currently free on a $50,000 bond.
The lawsuit names Morgan along with Ardley Fuqua, Jeffrey Millea of Shelton, Connecticut, and his wife Krista as plaintiffs. Morgan’s attorneys accuse Walmart of negligence, alleging that the truck involved in the accident was equipped with a “collision-avoidance system” that failed to brake before the fatal crash.
“Based on the investigation we have complete thus far, we feel we have a very strong case against Walmart,” Morgan’s attorney Benedict P. Morelli said in a statement released along with the lawsuit.
“All the plaintiffs have been seriously injured but the total extent of the permanency of the injuries may not be determined for months or years.”
The lawsuit from Morgan and the other plaintiffs seeks a jury trial and compensatory damages. Morgan himself is currently in rehabilitation recovering from a broken nose, broken leg and broken ribs as a result of the accident.
[Image via AP / Will Vaultz Photography, Matt Sayles]