Walmart and Tracy Morgan have announced reaching a settlement over a lawsuit filed against Walmart for an accident last year involving a Walmart Truck and Morgan’s limousine.
Walmart's and Morgan’s legal representatives worked together to reach an agreement for the plaintiffs and their families, according to Morgan’s attorney, Benedict Morelli. He indicated that Walmart took full responsibility for the accident. The terms of the settlement remain confidential but in the statement, Morgan indicated he was satisfied with the agreement.
“Walmart did right by me and my family and for my associates and their families,” said Morgan. “I am grateful that the case was resolved amicably.”
Morgan’s lawsuit claimed that the Walmart driver was fatigued at the time of the crash, having been awake for more than 24 hours prior to the accident.
On news of the settlement today, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety issued a statement reprimanding the government for ignoring the impact of driver fatigue while "pandering" to trucking interest groups.
"Unfortunately, crashes like this one involving a truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel will continue to kill and maim innocent families if Congress continues to pander to the wishes of special trucking interests," Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. "By large majorities the public does not support any of these changes being pushed by special interests behind closed doors."
The accident occurred in June of last year when a limousine carrying Morgan was struck from behind by a Walmart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike. One of the passengers in Morgan’s vehicle was killed and Morgan was severely injured. In January, the family of James McNair, the comedian who was killed in the accident, settled with Walmart for $10 million.
Leading up to this settlement, both sides waged a war of words. Walmart initially blamed the severity of injuries sustained in the crash on Morgan not wearing a seatbelt. In response to Walmart’s assertion, Morgan told USA Today that he was in disbelief at their statement saying “my friends and I were doing nothing wrong.”