The news has certainly made the rounds that noted actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was involved in a very serious trucking accident last month, but it has only recently been announced that Morgan and two others injured in the crash have filed a lawsuit against the owner of the truck: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Morgan and his fellow plaintiffs allege that the national retail chain was partially responsible for the crash by sending out a driver that it should have known was fatigued. In addition to their request for regular damages, Morgan, his assistant and another comedian are also asking for punitive damages.
While the accident did not happen in New York, this story serves as an important reminder that it is not just the individual truck driver who can be responsible in a trucking accident. If there is any indication that the owner of the vehicle or the trucker’s employer was negligent, they can also be held liable. In cases such as these, adding other responsible parties to the lawsuit may be the only way to truly be compensated for just such an accident. If the trucker’s insurance cannot cover all of the damages, Walmart certainly will be able to.
The lawsuit claims that Walmart should have known that the driver they were sending out was tired, as it had requested a Georgia driver to drive to Delaware before even starting his shift. Before he even started driving the Walmart truck, the driver had to drive more than 11 hours; it is no wonder that he was fatigued.
This serious trucking accident not only injured three people, but it also left another comedian dead. It is unknown if the family members of the fatally injured comedian plans on filing a wrongful death lawsuit, as well.
Source: The New York Times, “Tracy Morgan Sues Walmart Over Deadly Crash in New Jersey,” Emma G. Fitzsimmons, July 12, 2014
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