Actor Tracy Morgan is suing Wal-Mart for negligence after a New Jersey Turnpike crash last month left him critically injured and killed his comedian friend, James “Jimmy Mack” McNair.
The lawsuit filed in a New Jersey federal court on Thursday came a few weeks after a National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report found that Wal-Mart truck driver, Kevin Roper, was driving approximately 20 miles higher than the speed limit. The report alleges Roper was also nearing the maximum amount of driving time when he rear-ended Morgan’s limo bus.
According to the Associated Press, the complaint said Wal-Mart was aware or should have been aware that federal regulations meant to combat driver fatigue were being violated, stating Roper had been awake for more than 24 hours leading up to the crash. The suit also claims it was “unreasonable” that Roper had driven 700 miles from his home state of Georgia to work in Delaware.
In response to news of the lawsuit Wal-Mart said in a statement, “We are deeply sorry that one of our trucks was involved,” adding that, “As we’ve said, we’re cooperating fully in the ongoing investigation.”
Truck driver Kevin Roper pled not guilty on June 11 to criminal charges of vehicular homicide and assault-by-auto.
Three other passengers in the limo bus suffered injuries in the crash including comedian Ardie Fuqua, Jeffrey Milea and his wife Krista Milea, and were also named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
The group was returning with Morgan after performing in a comedy show in Delaware on June 7.
The “30 Rock” star was transferred to a physical rehabilitation site last month after spending two weeks in the hospital. He was released from the rehab facility on Saturday.