​Tracy Morgan sues Wal-Mart for crash that killed 1

Host Tracy Morgan speaks onstage during the 2013 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 19, 2013, in Las Vegas. Getty Images

TRENTON, N.J. - Tracy Morgan has sued Wal-Mart over last month's highway crash that seriously injured him and killed a fellow comedian.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, claims Wal-Mart was negligent when a driver of one of its tractor-trailers rammed into Morgan's limousine van. The complaint claims the retail giant should have known the driver had been awake for over 24 hours, and that his commute of 700 miles from his home in Georgia to work in Delaware was "unreasonable." It also alleges the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

"As a result of Wal-Mart's gross, reckless, willful, wanton, and intentional conduct, it should be appropriately punished with the imposition of punitive damages," according to the complaint.


The June 7 wreck on the New Jersey Turnpike killed 62-year-old comedian James McNair, who went by the name Jimmy Mack. Comedian Ardley Fuqua and Jeffrey and Krista Millea, who were injured as passengers in the limo, are also named as plaintiffs.

Morgan, the former "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" star, suffered a broken leg and broken ribs in the crash and is currently in a rehabilitation center. Fuqua is recovering from crash-related injuries.

Truck driver Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Georgia, has pleaded not guilty to death by auto and assault by auto charges. A criminal complaint also accuses him of not sleeping for more than 24 hours before the crash, a violation of New Jersey law.

A report by federal transportation safety investigators said Roper was driving 65 mph in the 60 seconds before he slammed into the limo van. The speed limit on that stretch of the turnpike is 55 mph and was lowered to 45 mph that night because of construction.

Roper had been on the job about 13 1/2 hours at the time of the crash, the report concluded. Federal rules permit truck drivers to work up to 14 hours a day, with a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel.

Morgan, a New York City native, was returning from a standup performance at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Delaware when the crash occurred.

Morgan's lawsuit seeks a jury trial and punitive and compensatory damages.

A Wal-Mart statement released Saturday read, "We are deeply sorry that one of our trucks was involved. As we've said, we're cooperating fully in the ongoing investigation.

"We know it will take some time to resolve all of the remaining issues as a result of the accident, but we're committed to doing the right thing for all involved."

A spokesperson for Morgan confirmed to CBS News that the comedian and the other victims had filed suit, and directed any further questions to their attorney.

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