Walmart officials have announced that an undisclosed settlement has been reached over a truck accident that seriously injured Tracy Morgan and three other victims, one of whom died in the crash. The accident, which occurred last year, made national headlines not just because a celebrity was involved, but also because the details of the accident raised questions about Walmart’s safety policies regarding truck drivers.
Here are details about the crash and the settlement:
- The crash took place on the New Jersey Turnpike in June 2014 when a Walmart tractor-trailer rear-ended a limo in which Morgan was a passenger. Morgan suffered serious injuries that required surgery and a lengthy recovery process. Two other passengers in the limo were injured in the accident, and a third passenger, a friend of Morgan’s was killed.
- Federal investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported that the Walmart truck had been going 20 mph over the speed limit before and that its driver had been awake for over 24 consecutive hours before the crash.
- Many safety experts called attention to the fact that the truck driver was approaching his drive limit – the limitation for how long commercial drivers can be on the clock or on the road. More concerns were expressed when it was discovered that the driver, who lived in Georgia, drove over 11 hours to start his shift in New Jersey despite the fact that there were other distribution centers closer to his home.
- The lawsuit – which was filed on behalf of Morgan, two of the injured passengers, and the then-pregnant wife of one of the passengers – alleged that Walmart was negligent in allowing its driver to travel such a long distance before starting his shift. The lawsuit was settled for a confidential amount.
Tracy Morgan’s name helped draw attention to the importance of federal trucking regulations, and especially the importance of laws that prevent tired drivers from getting behind the wheel. Unfortunately, negligent drivers and trucking companies continue to violate these laws and as a result place others on the road at risk.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. our truck accident lawyers have extensive experience handling cases involving violations of federal trucking laws. Our knowledge of these regulations allows our attorneys to better identify negligence and establish liability as we fight to hold trucking companies liable for causing preventable harm.
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