Photo: REX USA.
The legal battle between Tracy Morgan and Walmart just got ugly. According to the mega-retailer, Morgan was not wearing his seatbelt when a truck owned by the company struck Morgan's limo on the New Jersey Turnpike in June.
The collision resulted in the death of Morgan's friend, James McNair, and badly injured the comedian and several others. A month later, Morgan filed a suit against Walmart, claiming that their driver, Kevin Roper, was not fit to drive due to fatigue, and that Walmart acted negligently.
While Roper has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and assault by auto in a separate case, Walmart formally responded to Morgan's lawsuit, stating that his injuries “were caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seatbelt restraint device.”
Morgan has kept a low profile since the accident, which forced the 30 Rock star into physical therapy. Although he's since returned home, his lawyer, Benedict P. Morelli, told People in August that the actor was "having a tough time" recovering from his injuries. "He's making incremental progress," Morelli said at the time. "But they'll have to wait another month before they assess him cognitively."
Update: Well, that didn't take long. Just a day after news broke that Walmart was blaming Tracy Morgan and his lack of a seatbelt for the injuries he sustained in a June car accident, Morgan has responded.
"After I heard what Walmart said in court I felt I had to speak out," he said in a statement to JustJared.com. "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.”