Tracy Morgan’s Lawsuit Against Walmart in Fatal Crash is Finally Settled

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Last June comedian and actor Tracy Morgan’s limo bus was involved in a crash with a Walmart tractor trailer truck. The crash killed Morgan’s friend and mentor, comedian James McNair, who was also riding in the vehicle. The accident also left Morgan seriously injured, and two of the other passengers, Ardley Fuqua and Jeffrey Millea, critically hurt as well. Given the nature of the crash, Morgan, Fuqua, and Millea filed a lawsuit against Walmart, and it was just recently announced that that suit has been settled with the three plaintiffs.

Morgan, a former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” star, and his friends had left a stand-up show at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Delaware where Morgan had performed, and were traveling along the New Jersey Turnpike when the accident occurred. The driver of the Walmart truck, Kevin Roper, of Georgia, didn’t see the slow-moving traffic, which included the limo bus, until it was too late. Although Roper attempted to swerve, he wasn’t able to, and slammed into the limo bus. The truck hit Morgan’s vehicle directly, but that collision set off a chain reaction crash that involved another truck and other cars.

Although Roper is filing criminal charges and has pleaded not guilty, the civil suit from the victims was filed against Walmart. The driver hadn’t slept for more than 24 hours before the crash occurred. Although exactly why Roper was awake for so long is unclear, there are federal regulations that state that drivers can only work for 11 hours in a 14-hour workday.

The accident happened nealry a year ago, but Morgan is still struggling from the ordeal. He broke his leg, nose, and multiple ribs in the crash, as well as endured severe head trauma and is still recovering. He hasn’t appeared in public since the accident, although his team has announced that he will be appearing on “The Today Show” this coming Monday. He will appear with Matt Lauer, as well as his lawyer Benedict Morelli.

The terms of the recently settled lawsuit are being kept under wraps after the settlement was filed Wednesday in Newark, New Jersey. According to Walmart President and CEO Greg Foran,

Our thoughts continue to go out to everyone that was involved in the accident. While we know there is nothing that can change what happened, Walmart has been committed to doing what’s right to help ensure the wellbeing of all of those who were impacted by the accident. We worked closely with Mr. Morelli, and we are pleased to have reached an amicable settlement that ends this litigation. We are deeply sorry that one of our trucks was involved.

Morgan and Morelli each put out statements announcing that they were pleased with the way the settlement ended. A lawsuit with McNair’s family had already been settled in January.

While the accident was certainly tragic, it’s good that the lawsuit was resolved amicably and relatively quickly. Hopefully it will provide closure for the victims as they continue to recover.

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at



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