Walmart Blames Tracy Morgan for Truck Crash Injuries
Sadly, over the past few weeks the lawsuit involving comedian Tracy Morgan has been heating up. Morgan was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident earlier this year. The famous comedian was riding in a limo bus on the New Jersey Turnpike this past June. Unfortunately, an exhausted Walmart truck driver slammed into the limo and caused massive injuries and the death of Tracy’s close friend James McNair.
What makes this particular lawsuit interesting is Walmart is now seeking to establish contributory negligence on Tracy’s behalf because he and the other passengers failed to wear seatbelt. As we all know, limos and limo buses rarely have seatbelts. Interestingly enough, many school buses don’t have seatbelts either. I’m curious to know if Walmart would be arguing contributory negligence by not wearing a seatbelt if the Walmart driver had hit a school bus full of children. In my opinion, this puts the company’s public relations department in hot water.
Comparative or contributory negligence is an important and serious defense that would minimize the defendants fault in a particular collision and place blame on the plaintiff. In a perfect world, the defendant would be 100% at fault and would be liable for 100% of the monetary damages sustained by the plaintiff. However, comparative or contributory negligence works against that basic principle and places blame or fault on the plaintiff. The specific amount of fault that can placed on the various parties before a case can be dismissed, if at all, varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, which is why it is important to seek the advice and representation of a reputable lawyer.
After a defendant asserts this particular defense of comparative or contributory negligence, the plaintiff, Tracy Morgan in this case, now carries the burden of proof to disprove their own negligence. We call this burden shifting.
In reality, Walmart is trying to do anything and everything to reduce their liability in this case. Sadly, this collision was horrific, and seatbelts would have done little, if anything to protect them against a semi-truck accident. According to the police investigation thus far, Morgan’s limousine was not moving and was completely stopped when this exhausted Walmart semi-truck driver slammed into his limo at 65 mph.
I am watching this case closely. As a reminder, nothing contained in this article should be construed as legal advice. This particular collision occurred in New Jersey. As such, I cannot speak or give advice about other jurisdictions outside of Florida.
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by Gualberto107