People in California and across the United States were shocked to hear that actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was barely clinging to life after a horrific truck accident in June. The accident occurred when Morgan and his entourage were stuck in traffic, and a truck came barreling into the back of their limousine bus. Morgan suffered serious injury, but after numerous surgeries and procedures, he should ultimately recover from the horrible car accident. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for his friend and fellow rider, James McNair, who died in the crash.
Now that the dust has settled and a thorough investigation has been conducted, Morgan and the other victims have brought a lawsuit against Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is the company who employed the truck driver responsible for the crash. The lawsuit alleges that Wal-Mart's policies caused this negligent driver to fall asleep at the wheel after driving for more than 24 hours straight. According to the lawsuit, Wal-Mart should have known it was unreasonable to require this driver to go over 700 miles, and then begin another shift immediately afterwards.
Wal-Mart has countered that they believed the driver was acting within the boundaries of federal trucking safety regulations. Federal trucking safety regulations place restrictions on how long a driver can be behind the wheel without a significant break.
When a tractor-trailer driver is negligent or operating unsafely, they may be held personally liable. However, most importantly, the company employing them is liable as well. If Morgan's lawsuit is successful, the plaintiffs could be entitled to damages, including pain and suffering, medical expenses, legal fees, lost wages and even punitive damages. In addition, the widow of McNair could be entitled to damages for wrongful death and the loss of her husband.
Source: CBS 8, "Tracy Morgan sues Walmart over deadly crash," Sadie Gennis, July 15, 2014