Walmart faults Tracy Morgan for not wearing seatbelt
Monday, Walmart responded to 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan’s lawsuit in New Jersey federal court.
Morgan filed suit against the company following a tragic accident on the New Jersey Turnpike in early June.
In court, Walmart says the passengers’ injuries “were caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seatbelt restraint device.”
Morgan’s lawsuit, which he filed in July, questions whether or not Walmart driver Kevin Roper was fatigued when the crash happened.
Morgan broke his ribs, nose and leg as a result of the crash. His friend and fellow comedian James McNair died as a result of his injuries.
The suit indicates Roper had commuted 700 miles from home in Jonesboro, Ga., to a Walmart in Smyrna, Del., before he started the shift.
“Walmart knew or should have known” Roper had been “awake for more than 24 consecutive hours,” the lawsuit reads.
Walmart’s response doesn’t go into any details about what exactly happened. The company says it was designated by the National Transportation Safety Board as party in the investigation process, and they cite a section of the transportation law as constraining the dissemination of investigative data.
“Accordingly, absent entry of a Protective Order and adequate protections by the Court to maintain the confidential nature of Wal-Mart’s responses as required by the NTSB on-going investigation, Wal-Mart is unable to admit or deny” different allegations in this lawsuit.
Walmart says the company and its agents caused the accident only by proximity, disputing that it had any kind influence over third parties who may have been involved.