Children of comedian killed in US crash awarded $10 million
WHITE PLAINS, New York (AP) — The children of comedian James McNair, who was killed in the New Jersey Turnpike crash that injured Tracy Morgan, are getting a $10 million settlement from Wal-Mart, court papers show.
The documents also show that the children, Jamel McNair, 26, and Denita McNair, 19, are putting part of the payment toward annuities that will pay them ever-increasing monthly amounts, starting at $3,000, for the rest of their lives.
The $10 million figure was disclosed in documents filed in Surrogate’s Court in New York’s Westchester County, where James McNair lived until the June 7 accident, when a Wal-Mart truck hit a limo van that was carrying him, Morgan and others home from a show in Delaware.
Morgan, a former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” star, suffered broken bones and what his lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said was a traumatic brain injury.
“Tracy is working very hard to get better, physically, emotionally and mentally,” Morelli said Friday. “Because in all three areas he still has a struggle on his hands.”
Morgan and two others injured in the crash also have sued Wal-Mart. The truck driver, Kevin Roper, has been charged with death by auto and other offenses in New Jersey state court but has not yet been indicted, said a spokesman for the Middlesex County, New Jersey, prosecutor’s office.
The McNair family lawyer, Daryl Zaslow, announced in January that Wal-Mart had settled with the children, but the amount was said to be confidential. However, he mentioned the $10 million figure in court papers filed last month supporting his request, backed by the McNair children, for nearly $3 million in legal fees. The $10 million figure was first reported by dnainfo.com.
Zaslow did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the company could not discuss the terms, “but we are glad to have reached an agreement. … We deeply regret the loss of Mr. McNair and we worked closely with his family to insure their wellbeing.”
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