NEWARK, N.J. - Tracy Morgan Tuesday responded to a claim by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that by not wearing seat belts, he and fellow passengers were partly responsible for their injuries after a Wal-Mart truck slammed into his limo van in June, killing another rider.
"After I heard what Walmart said in court I felt I had to speak out," the "30 Rock" actor-comedian said in a statement, using the retail giant's brand name. "I can't believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident that they caused. My friends and I were doing nothing wrong. I want to thank my fans for sticking with me during this difficult time. I love you all. I'm fighting hard every day to get back."
Morgan's attorney, Benedict Morelli, told The Associated Press that Wal-Mart's claim, made in court documents in a lawsuit Morgan filed against the corporation in July, was "disingenuous. It's not what they said they were going to do initially, which was take full responsibility. I'm very upset, not for myself but for the families I represent."
Comedian James McNair was killed and Morgan, 45, and others were injured and in the early-morning crash June 7 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Truck driver Kevin Roper pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges in state court. Federal investigators said Roper was driving 65 mph in the minute before the accident, on a stretch of road with a 55 mph speed limit lowered to 45 mph that night because of construction.
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan told the AP the company "continues to stand willing to work with Mr. Morgan and the other plaintiffs to resolve this matter."