On Monday, Walmart issued a filing stating that actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and fellow passengers injured in a June highway accident involving a company truck were at least partly to blame for their injuries for not wearing seat belts. Now, Morgan has released a statement after spending weeks in rehab recovering from rib and leg injuries.
“After I heard what Walmart said in court I felt I had to speak out. I can’t believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident that they caused,” he wrote. “My friends and I were doing nothing wrong. I want to thank my fans for sticking with me during this difficult time. I love you all. I’m fighting hard every day to get back.”
The accident resulted in the death of comedian Jimmy McNair, and a lawsuit against the company seeking punitive and compensatory damages claims the truck driver, Kevin Roper, had been awake for more than 24 hours and that the retail giant was responsible for creating an “unreasonable” situation. Roper pleaded not guilty to death by auto and assault by auto charges in New Jersey court.
“It’s disingenuous,” attorney Benedict Morelli said. “It’s not what they said they were going to do initially, which was take full responsibility. I’m very upset, not for myself but for the families I represent.” In an email statement, Walmart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said that the company “continues to stand willing to work with Mr. Morgan and the other plaintiffs to resolve this matter.”