Renowned actor and television personality Tracy Morgan recently reached a confidential settlement with Walmart, resolving his personal injury case and ending his lawsuit against the company. On June 7, 2014, Morgan was en route from Delaware to New York City following a stand-up comedy performance when a Walmart tractor-trailer recklessly barrelled into the back of the limousine that was transporting him on the New Jersey turnpike. Few limo passengers emerged unscathed from the ensuing wreckage. Comedian Ardie Fuqua and Morgan’s personal assistant, Jeff Millea, were seriously injured, and comedian James McNair, who performed under the stage name Jimmy Mack, died tragically in the accident.
Morgan sustained acute injuries in the crash, ranging from a broken nose and shattered leg bones to fractured ribs and, perhaps most debilitating of all, a traumatic brain injury.
The forceful blow of the crash rendered Morgan comatose for two weeks, as he endured a subdural hematoma, an accumulation of blood between the dura and arachnoid layers that cushion the brain. This build-up of blood exerts mounting pressure on the brain, shifting and compressing it, and thereby inhibits normal function. After Morgan was discharged from the hospital, he adhered to an intensive regimen of therapy and rehabilitation, but recuperation from a traumatic brain injury is often a long, ongoing process.
Although his condition has improved substantially and he continues to make progress, Morgan still struggles to manage and overcome the inevitable consequences of head trauma. Morgan has no recollection of the incident that has forever transformed his life, and he copes with bouts of forgetfulness, headaches and nosebleeds in the aftermath of the accident.
A slew of criminal charges have been leveled against the driver of the tractor-trailer, who pleaded innocent to the offenses of vehicular homicide and assault by auto despite the critical injuries inflicted. According to the complaint, the truck driver allegedly disregarded regulations for a decreased speed limit, which was instituted due to construction on the turnpike, by surpassing the maximum speed limit of 45 mph and traveling at the rapid rate of 65 mph. The driver reportedly misjudged or overlooked the speed of traffic moving beyond the truck and failed to decelerate. He allegedly abruptly veered off course in a futile attempt to dodge and skirt the limousine, but he ultimately collided into the rear end of the vehicle and forcefully inverted it.
The suit attributes the car accident to reckless speeding compounded by the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation and excessive fatigue. Inability to focus, delayed reaction time and distorted judgment are proven consequences of insufficient sleep and might partially account for the crash. According to the suit, the truck driver had allegedly remained awake for a prolonged period of over 24 hours, and he had been working for 13 consecutive hours without respite prior to the accident.
O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble has successfully handled personal injury and wrongful death cases resulting from motor vehicle accidents. Victims of auto accidents who have sustained traumatic brain injuries often experience cognitive deficits, as well as compromised speech and motor skills. O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble attempts to facilitate the path to recovery by providing financial assistance to compensate the exorbitant expenses of adequate care and treatment.
If you have questions regarding a recent motor vehicle accident and are considering your options, contact us either online or by phone at 908-928-9200.