Walmart said in court documents that actor Tracy Morgan was to blame for his near-fatal injuries this past June because he was not wearing his seat belt, NJ Advance Media reported.
“By failing to exercise ordinary care in making use of available seatbelts, upon information and belief, [Morgan and James McNair] acted unreasonably and in disregard of [their] own best interests,” attorneys for the company said. “Accordingly, all or a portion of the injuries could have been diminished or minimized by the exercise of reasonable conduct using the available seatbelts.”
Morgan filed a federal lawsuit against Walmart in July, accusing the company of negligence regarding federal regulations concerning 35-year-old truck driver Kevin Roper’s work schedule at the time of the crash.
Roper had reportedly been awake for more than 24 hours after driving from Georgia to work at a distribution center in Delaware. He has pleaded not guilty to assault and vehicular homicide charges in connection with the June 7 collision in New Jersey that killed McNair. Three other passengers were also injured when Roper’s truck collided with their limousine bus.
Morgan’s nose, leg, and several of his ribs were broken in the crash, and he is reportedly rehabilitating at home. His lawyers have stated that it may take months for him to be able to walk again.
A Walmart spokesperson, Brooke Buchanan, confirmed the company’s court filing in a statement on Monday.
“The company continues to stand willing to work with Mr. Morgan and the other plaintiffs to resolve this matter,” Buchanan’s statement read.