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The following is an excerpt from Tracy Morgan 'still struggling' to recover from crash injuries, attorney tells TODAY
Tracy Morgan is on the mend following a June crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that left the comedian and several associates critically injured and took the life of his mentor. During a visit to TODAY Monday, Morgan's attorney said the former "30 Rock" star still has a long road ahead — both physically and in the court system.
"He's still struggling," attorney Benedict P. Morelli told TODAY's Matt Lauer. "But he's a fighter. He's had issues before that he's fought through, and he's fighting hard."
The June 7 accident occurred when a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer plowed into the rear of Morgan's limo van. Comedian James "Jimmy Mack" McNair, a passenger in the limo, was killed. Injured along with Morgan were comedian Ardie Fuqua and Morgan's assistant Jeffrey Millea. The truck's driver, Kevin Roper, pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of vehicular homicide and assault.
Last month, Morgan and his fellow crash survivors filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, alleging that Roper had been awake for over 24 hours and in the midst of long shift that exceeded federal safety limits when the crash occurred — working conditions that Morelli says are the norm for Wal-Mart truckers.
"I'm going to show if I have to in court that that's the culture (at Wal-Mart)," Morelli told Lauer. "That's what they set up. They know. ... They have to make sure that this doesn't happen."
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The following is an excerpt from Tracy Morgan's Attorney: 'He's Still Struggling, but He's a Fighter'
Later in the segment, Today host Matt Lauer shifted the interview focus to the accident itself and its messy legal aftermath. Morgan previously filed a lawsuit against Walmart, alleging the company "knew or should have known" that driver Kevin Roper had been "awake for more than 24 consecutive hours" before the tragic crash that killed Morgan's friend, comic James McNair, and injured several others. ... Morelli said Walmart is responsible for Roper's actions "because he works for Walmart," noting that he also represents Morgan's assistant, Jeffrey Millea and fellow comic Ardie Fuqua (who is "still in the hospital"). When asked if the suit could be settled before entering the courtroom, Morelli said, "That's up to them. And I haven't seen any 'full responsibility' yet. . . I promised all those families that they take full responsibility."