Back in June, a limousine bus carrying 30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan and a number of his friends was hit by a semi-truck, causing a six-car crash and overturning Morgan’s vehicle. Comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair was killed, and Morgan himself was put in intensive care. 10 days later, his condition was upgraded to “fair,” and the man behind the wheel of the semi was revealed to be Kevin Roper, a Walmart driver who had reportedly been awake for over 24 hours. Roper pled not guilty to various related charges, including vehicular homicide, and is currently out on bail.
Now, via The Hollywood Reporter, Morgan and a number of other people involved in the crash are taking Walmart to court over what they believe is evidence of the mega-retailer being “careless and negligent in the ownership and operation of its motor vehicle.” The lawsuit argues that Walmart had forced Roper to drive 700 miles from his home in Georgia to Delaware immediately before starting his shift, so it “knew or should have known” how long he had been awake, making it culpable for the deadly crash.
Morgan’s lawsuit goes beyond the crash from June 7, though. It also says that Walmart “not only failed to condemn, but condoned” its drivers regularly violating limits put on shift lengths by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This suggests that the lawsuit goes beyond accusing Walmart of pushing one specific driver too hard and instead targets the corporation’s entire pattern of allegedly treating its employees like crap.
Walmart released a statement expressing its condolences to everyone involved in the crash, as well as saying that it’s “committed to doing the right thing for all involved.”
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