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Walmart blames Tracy Morgan for his car crash injuries

INJURED: Comedian Tracy Morgan

AMERICAN RETAILER Walmart claims actor-comedian Tracy Morgan's injuries sustained from a car crash involving a company vehicle, are his own fault as he was not wearing a seatbelt.

Walmart's filing was made on Monday (Sept 29) in federal court in response to a lawsuit Morgan, and the other passengers in his limousine bus, filed in July.

The 30 Rock star and his entourage were being chauffeured from a show in Delaware back to New York City at about 1am on June 7 when a Walmart truck driver rear-ended their limousine bus and caused the fatal collision.

The wreck killed comedian James McNair, who went by the stage name Jimmy Mack. Morgan's assistant, Jeffrey Millea and comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr were also injured in the crash.

Morgan spent several weeks in rehab with rib and leg injuries.

On July 10, Morgan's lawyers sued Walmart for negligence, claiming the retailer should have known that its driver, Kevin Roper, had been awake for more than 24 hours and that a 700-mile commute from his home in Georgia to work in Delaware was "unreasonable".

"As a result of Walmart's gross, reckless, wilful, wanton, and intentional conduct, it should be appropriately punished with the imposition of punitive damages," court papers said.

The truck driver has separately pleaded not guilty to charges of death by auto and assault by auto charges.

Prosecutors said Roper had not slept for more than 24 hours before the crash on the New Jersey Turnpike, when he swerved to avoid traffic that had slowed down, ploughing into Morgan's limo bus.

A report by the National Transportation Safety Board, said Roper had been driving at 65mph in a 45mph construction zone shortly before the crash.

He had been on the clock for 13-and-a-half 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.

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