Tracy Morgan is “still struggling” to regain some sense of normalcy more than two months after the Mercedes-Benz limo van he was riding in was rear-ended by an allegedly dozing Wal-Mart trucker. Morgan’s lawyer Benedict Morelli appeared on The Today Show Monday, where he delivered the somber update on the comedian’s condition and his controversial lawsuit against America’s largest retailer.
“He’s still struggling, but he’s a fighter. He’s had issues before that he’s fought through and he’s fighting hard.”
On June 7, Wal-Mart driver Kevin Roper slammed into Morgan’s limo on the New Jersey Turnpike. Morgan, who was returning home to Northern New Jersey at the time of the accident, suffered severe injuries to his lower body. Three other occupants in the vehicle were injured, while comic James McNair — Tracy’s longtime mentor — was killed.
Last month, Morgan filed suit against Wal-Mart. The claim alleges negligence on the store’s part, citing law enforcement’s findings that Roper had been awake for more than two days at the time of the accident and fell asleep at the wheel. The suit says that Wal-Mart should have known it was “unreasonable” for Roper to have to drive 700 miles before his shift.
“Additionally, there were many Wal-Mart distribution facilities closer to Mr. Roper’s home — including nine in Georgia alone — which would have significantly reduced Mr. Roper’s commute to work. Wal-Mart not only failed to condemn, but condoned this practice of its drivers routinely violating the F.M.S.C.A. Regulations.”
Today’s Matt Lauer laid into Morgan’s counsel about why the Emmy-nominated actor is going after Wal-Mart, not Roper, regarding the claims that he was overworked and fell asleep at the wheel. Morelli replied:
“Because he works for Wal-Mart, and I intend to show if I have to in court that that’s the culture. That’s what they set up…They have to make sure that this doesn’t happen [again]. There are 75 deaths a day from big-rigs. It’s been increasing.”