Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Walmart over the injuries he suffered in a crash with one of its trucks earlier this summer.
The crash took place on June 7, when a Walmart semi-truck collided with a limousine van occupied by Morgan and a number of other individuals. Morgan suffered broken ribs and a broken leg in the crash. Another occupant of the limo was killed in the crash, and at least two more were injured.
In the lawsuit, Morgan alleges that the Walmart truck driver fell asleep at the while before ramming into the back of the van. An investigation of the crash by transportation safety officials showed that the driver had been on the job for about 13.5 hours at the time of the truck crash.
Federal trucking regulations limit drivers to a maximum of 14 on-duty hours per day, with no more than 11 hours spent behind the wheel. The driver has also been accused of not sleeping for more than 24 hours before the accident, which is illegal in New Jersey, where the crash occurred.
Morgan claims that Walmart was negligent and should have known that the driver was not well rested. He is seeking compensatory damages, which may include the cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, loss of income and other financial losses stemming from the crash. He is also seeking punitive damages, which can be imposed in certain situations to penalize a party who has acted with extreme negligence or recklessness.
The comedian’s wife is also seeking damages in relation to the crash in a separate claim. In California, the spouse of an individual who has been injured or killed by someone else’s negligence may file a claim for loss of household services and financial support, as well as for non-economic damages such as loss of companionship, emotional support and physical intimacy.
Source: Claims Journal, “Morgan Sues Wal-Mart a Month After Crash,” Bruce Shipkowski, AP, July 14, 2014