Morgan and others injured in the June 7 accident, which occurred when Walmart driver Kevin Roper slammed into the actor's limo bus, allege negligence on Walmart's part in a lawsuit filed Thursday. "Walmart was careless and negligent in the ownership and operation of its motor vehicle, which caused Mr. Morgan to suffer severe personal injuries," the complaint states. "As a direct and proximate result of said collision, Mr. Morgan was caused to sustain severe painful bodily injuries, including but not limited to multiple fractures which required multiple surgeries, extensive medical treatment and will require significant physical rehabilitation."
Roper has been accused of driving his truck recklessly after staying awake for more than 24 hours straight. The suit alleges that he fell asleep at the wheel immediately before the crash and that Walmart "knew or should have known" it was "unreasonable" for Roper to commute 700 miles to a distribution facility before beginning his shift.
Last month, a Walmart spokesman said that the company believed Roper "was operating within the federal hours of service regulations" when the collision occurred. Roper pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter and assault in June.
"Walmart not only failed to condemn, but condoned this practice of its drivers routinely violating the F.M.S.C.A. Regulations," the suit reads.
In addition to Morgan, plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Krista Millea, the widow of McNair, Morgan's assistant, Jeffrey Millea, and comedian Ardie Fuqua. They are suing for negligence and seeking compensatory and statutory damages, punitive damages, legal fees and pre and post-post-judgement interest. Millea is also suing for loss of consortium.
"This has been a terrible tragedy. We wish Mr. Morgan, Mr. Fuqua Jr., and Mr. Millea full recoveries," Walmart said in a new statement. "Our thoughts continue to go out to them, their families and friends, as well as to the families and friends of everyone involved, including Mr. McNair who lost his life. 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."
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