Tracy Morgan released from care, files lawsuit against Wal-Mart

Los Angeles TimesJuly 12, 2014 

Actor Tracy Morgan has been released from a rehabilitation center and will continue his recovery at home, a representative for the comedian said Saturday.

The news came after Morgan filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. over the New Jersey highway crash that left one man dead and several injured last month.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey by Morgan and three other survivors of the crash, claims Wal-Mart was negligent when the driver of one of its tractor trailers struck Morgan's limousine.

James McNair, 63, a comedian better known by his stage name, Jimmy Mack, died in the accident.

The lawsuit alleges that "Wal-Mart knew or should have known" that Kevin Roper, the 35-year-old Georgia man who was driving the tractor trailer, had been awake for more than 24 consecutive hours when the crash occurred.

Roper has been charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto in the wreck. He entered a not guilty plea.

Roper had not slept for nearly 24 hours before the crash, according to a warrant for his arrest.

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board released last month said that Roper was going 20 miles above the speed limit on the New Jersey Turnpike the night of June 7 when the truck struck the rear of a 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter limo van.

Morgan suffered multiple fractures in the crash, required multiple surgeries, and will require significant physical rehabilitation, according to the lawsuit.

Lewis Kay, a representative for Morgan, said in a statement Saturday that the comedian will undergo an aggressive outpatient program at home.

The other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are comedian Ardie Fuqua; Morgan's assistant, Jeffrey Millea; and Millea's wife, Krista Millea, who was eight months pregnant. She is also suing for loss of consortium.

Wal-Mart called the accident a "terrible tragedy" in a statement Saturday.

"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."

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