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ICYMI: Tracy Morgan Sues Walmart for Responsibility in Deadly Crash

A month after his limousine was hit by a tractor trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike, actor Tracy Morgan has been released from a rehabilitation facility and has announced a lawsuit against Walmart.  

According to the lawsuit, the driver involved in the incident — which killed one and injured three — had traveled from his home in Georgia to a Walmart distribution center in Delaware before beginning his 14-hour shift for the company.  After the incident, the driver, Kevin Roper, was charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto.  He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“As a result of Walmart’s gross, reckless, willful, wanton, and intentional conduct, it should be appropriately punished with the imposition of punitive damages,” the complaint states.

In addition, Roper was charged with not sleeping for 24 hours before the crash, a violation of New Jersey law.  A report also shows the driver was going 20 mph over the speed limit at the time of the crash and had fallen asleep at the wheel.

According to the Associated Press (via Mashable):

A report by federal transportation safety investigators said Roper was driving 65 mph in the 60 seconds before he slammed into the limo van. The speed limit on that stretch of the turnpike is 55 mph and was lowered to 45 mph that night because of construction.

Roper had been on the job about 13 1/2 hours at the time of the crash, the report concluded. Federal rules permit truck drivers to work up to 14 hours a day, with a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel.

In a statement, Walmart said:

“We are deeply sorry that one of our trucks was involved. As we’ve said, we’re cooperating fully in the ongoing investigation.”

“We’re committed to doing the right thing for all involved.”

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