The first settlement was finalized for the June 7, 2014 New Jersey Turnpike crash involving a Walmart truck’s collision with a limousine van carrying Tracy Morgan and other passengers. A Walmart spokesperson said that the chain was attempting to settle other cases with passengers who were injured in the crash.
This confidential out-of-court settlement was entered with the estate of James McNair before the wrongful death lawsuit was filed. The McNair family attorney said that Walmart caused extensive damage to his family. Walmart admitted no liability for the fatal accident.
McNair was 62-years-old, grew up with Tracy Morgan in Brooklyn and was his mentor and friend. He was also a comedian.
Traci Morgan, the former star of “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” suffered a traumatic brain injury in the collision. Last month his attorney said that Morgan had not completely recovered from the TBI and it was uncertain if he would be the same he was before the accident.
Two other passengers in the limousine also suffered injuries. Morgan and these two injured passengers filed a lawsuit against Walmart which is pending in federal court.
The Walmart truck driver was criminally charged with four counts of assault by auto and death by auto New Jersey state court. The truck driver was operating the vehicle even though he had not slept for more than 24 hours.
The National Transportation Safety Board conducted a preliminary investigation and estimated that the truck driver was driving 65 miles-per-hour in the minute immediately before he crashed into the limousine. The 55 mph speed limit on that part of the Turnpike was lowered to 45 mph on the night of the accident because of ongoing construction.
Families of auto accident victims killed by a reckless or overly-fatigued driver should seek legal information to determine whether they are entitled to compensation. With the right help, some families can litigate these cases in court and assure that their rights are protected in settlement negotiations.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Walmart settles with family of comedian killed in Tracy Morgan crash,”, Jan. 21, 2015