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Walmart puts blame on Morgan, others for not wearing seat belts

This past Monday, attorneys for Walmart in the case of the truck accident involving actor/comedian Tracy Morgan and several of his acquaintances, said on behalf of Walmart that the one death and several injuries that occurred as a result of the accident "were caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs' failure to properly wear an appropriate available seatbelt restraint device." Walmart basically said, "Sorry we hit you, but it's your fault you got hurt because you weren't wearing seatbelts…in a LIMOSUINE."

Morgan and the other injured parties filed a lawsuit in July. The main claim against the driver and Walmart is that he was overly exhausted at the time of the accident, and may have fallen asleep at wheel seconds before the crash happened. After some digging, prosecutors found that the truck driver had driven approximately seven hundred miles from Jonesboro, Georgia to Walmart complex in Smyrna, Delaware before he even began his shift. That means he was likely driving 11-12 hours just to start working.

The plaintiffs' attorney says that "Walmart knew or [at least] should have known" that their driver was "awake for more than 24 [straight] hours." It is believed that the driver finished one shift, then received the call to drive to Delaware to begin another shift, meaning he was likely awake for somewhere between 24 and 30 hours.  

In response, Walmart said it was not ready to disclose what happened until their investigation into the matter is complete. In addition to their own investigation, Walmart is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. Walmart says that it would divulge more if only it could, but that a transportation law requires they do not give any information away until all investigations are complete. At this point, Walmart cannot admit to or deny any guilt in regard to the accident.

What Walmart has said, however, is that Morgan and several others are partially at fault to not wearing seat belts, stating that "By failing to exercise…care in making use of…seatbelts,…plaintiffs acted…in disregard of plaintiffs' own best interests." In addition to arguing partial blame go to the plaintiffs, it appears Walmart plans to dispute all negligence claims and any third party claims.

Finally, Walmart says that it foresees its due process right being impinged upon, arguing that the company "did not engage in any…willful conduct that would warrant…punitive damages." Here, the company is attempting to place all of the blame on their driver, who they knowingly overworked to the alleged point of falling asleep at the wheel of his truck.

Source:, "Walmart Faults Tracy Morgan for Not Wearing Seatbelt During Car Accident" 29 September 2014

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