Tracy Morgan filed a lawsuit in July alleging that Walmart’s negligence led to the accident that left Morgan and two friends critically injured, and one dead. Walmart answered back Monday saying that the plaintiffs are to blame for not wearing their seat belts. The response appears to have left Tracy in a state of disbelief.
“I can’t believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident that they caused.”
The facts of the case favor Tracy Morgan’s side, so far.
According to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board, the driver of the tractor-trailer hit Morgan’s limousine from behind on the New Jersey turnpike going 20 mph over the speed limit. The driver, Kevin Roper, had been awake for 24 consecutive hours at the time. Walmart seems negligent for letting a worker drive when he was seemingly not fit for a long haul.
Why was Kevin Roper awake for so long?
Before the trip that led to the Tracy Morgan accident, Roper had to commute from his home in Jonesboro, Georgia, to the Walmart facility in Smyrna, Delaware, a 750 mile drive. Then proceeded to make deliveries in New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
Morgan’s lawsuit alleges that the big box chain knew or should have known that it wasn’t safe to send Roper on a 14 hour delivery run after he had already commuted so long.
Walmart’s response to the lawsuit appears to send a message, that the big-box chain is willing to use any and all possible legal defenses, including seat belts.
According to CNN, Walmart’s legal response says the accident was “caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seat belt restraint device,” and that Morgan and company had “acted unreasonably and in disregard of (their) own best interests.”
The statement also mentions that the incident “may have been caused by third parties over whom Walmart had no control.”
Despite the aggravating claims, spokespeople for the retailer insist that it will work to settle the dispute out of court. The courts have not said how much Tracy Morgan is suing for.
The Walmart response added more hardship for Tracy Morgan who is still struggling to recover from his injuries. The comedian suffered broken ribs, a broken nose, a broken leg, and worst of all, injuries to his brain. According to People Magazine, the comedian has been in physical and vocational therapy to try to recover his speech and motor-skills.
It is still not clear if Tracy Morgan will ever perform again.
[Image Credit: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons]