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NEWARK, N.J. — Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan has settled his lawsuit against Walmart over a New Jersey highway crash that killed one man and left Morgan and two friends seriously injured. Terms of the settlement are confidential, Walmart and Benedict Morelli, the attorney for Morgan and his two friends, said in a statement.
“Walmart did right by me and my family, and for my associates and their families,” Morgan said in a statement. “I am grateful that the case was resolved amicably.”
Walmart U.S. president and CEO Greg Foran added “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 well-being 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.”
Morelli stated, “Walmart and I worked diligently to reach this settlement for the plaintiffs and their families. Walmart took full responsibility for the accident, which we greatly appreciate.”
A Walmart truck slammed into the back of a limo van carrying Morgan and the others back from a show in Delaware last June. Comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair was killed. Morgan suffered head trauma, a broken leg and broken ribs.
Walmart reached a settlement with McNair’s two children in January.
The truck driver, Kevin Roper, of Jonesboro, Georgia, faces several criminal charges, including death by auto, in state court. He has pleaded not guilty. He wasn’t a defendant in Morgan’s federal lawsuit.
Morgan suffered what his lawyer, Benedict Morelli, has referred to as a traumatic brain injury. Morelli said in March that Morgan wasn’t fully recovered but was “working very hard to get better, physically, emotionally and mentally.” Morgan had hoped to attend the 40th anniversary show of Saturday Night Live in February but was unable to.
Passengers Ardley Fuqua, of Jersey City, New Jersey, and Jeffrey Millea, of Shelton, Connecticut, also suffered serious injuries in the June crash and were plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Wal-Mart.
According to the criminal complaint, Roper was operating the truck without having slept for more than 24 hours.
A preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board estimated that Roper was driving 65 mph in the minute before he slammed into Morgan’s limo van on the New Jersey Turnpike. The speed limit on that stretch of the turnpike is 55 mph and was lowered to 45 mph that night because of construction.
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