Tracy Morgan Sues Wal-Mart Over Deadly Crash

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Tracy Morgan Sues Wal-Mart Over Deadly Crash

morgan

Comedian will sue retail giant over truck-crash that serious injured him and killed his mentor

On June 7th, a limo-bus containing comedian Tracy Morgan, his mentor James McNair and several others was involved in a devastating car wreck that put Morgan in critical condition and resulted in McNair's death. It was subsequently confirmed that the multi-car crash had been caused by a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer truck whose driver (who since turned himself into authorities) had fallen asleep at the wheel after allegedly having been awake for over 24 hours.

Now, Morgan (who was originally hospitalized in critical condition is still undergoing serious rehabilitation at an unknown facility), McNair's family and several other victims have officially filed suit against the Wal-Mart Corporation seeking "unspecified damages" and a trial by jury. The suit claims that Wal-Mart "knew or should have known" that its driver was operating on an unsafe lack of sleep, and that its vehicle's collision-avoidance systems had been compromised.

The suit describes Morgan as having been "...incapacitated from pursuing his usual employment and other activities, may be left with disabilities that will in the future similarly incapacitate him and cause him pain and suffering, and may require medical treatment."

Source: Deadline

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Everyone knows Walmart pushes its employees to their very limit on low pay to cut corners.

Do people care that Walmarts puts everyone in danger? Nope. Not at all. Walmart could have a child sweat shop in the basement and people won't care about it as long as they get 10% off on some random useless crap.

When a celebrity gets hurt, do people care? yeah. Do they care enough to go after Walmart? again, no.

The lawsuit won't bring the pain to Walmart. Any money Tracey gets won't change Walmart's mind or its policies. They make way too much money as it is, and thats the problem with super corporations.

If they make so much money, its above the court's ability to adequately punish them because there is only so much you can ask for.

Fair play to him all the same though.

The case seem righteous enough.

Hopefully the case will be high profile enough that it will shine enough light on their practices that it might change something.

Ultratwinkie:
Everyone knows Walmart pushes its employees to their very limit on low pay to cut corners.

Walmart and every other company out there.

Do people care that Walmarts puts everyone in danger? Nope. Not at all. Walmart could have a child sweat shop in the basement and people won't care about it as long as they get 10% off on some random useless crap.

Well consider your celphone, tablet, and laptop were likely made in sweatshops in other countries...

When a celebrity gets hurt, do people care? yeah. Do they care enough to go after Walmart? again, no.

The lawsuit won't bring the pain to Walmart. Any money Tracey gets won't change Walmart's mind or its policies. They make way too much money as it is, and thats the problem with super corporations.

If they make so much money, its above the court's ability to adequately punish them because there is only so much you can ask for.

While this is a tragedy I think this is essentially a blame game fueled by grief and will accomplish nothing.

The idea that they're claiming that walmart knew or should have known is sort of a false. I mean come on I've done 72 hours sans sleep and still showed up for work the next day. Life happens, sometimes sleep is a luxuury. Not saying this makes it right but it's one of those...'no one's fault' scenario. If anyone is to blame.. it's the driver. I mean he should have had better judgement. If you suspect you are too out of it to safely do your job... then take a day. The worst that could happen in that scenario is you lose your job ... in this case he's already lost his job so in the end it was poor judgement on his part.

Sadly the 'should have known' argument is blame game grade a. This isn't like a drunk employee that you can give a breathalyzer to, this is sleep, believe it or not you can function fairly well without sleep until your body says 'fuck this' and shuts down. Chances are his 5 hour energy just ran out at the wrong time. Again this is not something Walmart would keep track of. I mean think about it, he'd gone 24-hours without sleep, does that mean he was working at Walmart 24 hours straight? Nope... could just mean he never got the chance to sleep between shifts.

Walmart maybe oppressive but I don't think even they survey the lives of their employees when they're off work and not at the store...they're Walmart, not the Church of Scientology.

So looking at that, assuming he didn't pull multiple consecutive shifts at Walmart...there's no legal case.

I hope he wins this one. I'm all for blaming Wal-Mart.

According to BigTuk the entire concept of neglect is pointless.

"it's all a blame game!"

Well, to me, this actually seems like one of those increasingly rare cases where a lawsuit is actually justified. If Wal-Mart pushes their employees to work on unsafe time scales, then something has to be done about it, and money is often a sure way of making a change. Hopefully this all gets resolved for the better.

I hope he wins just to hurt walmart after working there I can say they are one of the worst employers there is.

From what I've read, I think the blame mostly belongs on the driver. It sounds like he had been up for a long time before even going into work, which is a case of him acting irresponsibly. He wasn't even maxed out on his daily hours, though he was close. So, personally, I think the majority of the blame is on the driver, and he should face prosecution.

That being said, Wal-Mart does have a responsibility to ensure that they employees can actually do their jobs. They do hold some culpability in this case. Someone should have sent him home if he had already been awake for the better part of a day before coming in to work.

Most likely Wal-Mart will settle this and other cases out of court, if they are able to.

I wish Tracy and all the others who were injured in this incident a full recovery and happy lives. May those who lost their lives rest in peace.

I think he should, as part of the lawsuit, try to overhaul the forced working conditions. Make them give the employees a fair deal.

If they can prove Walmart was aware of the driver's lack of sleep (which they should be able to do with a simple subpoena), then more power to them. IIRC a truck drive in the US is not legally allowed to drive more than 15 hours every 24 hours.

It's an issue of both pay, hours, and lack of employees.

When I had first starting working for Walmart nearly a decade ago, they had enough employees in each department to cover when some was sick. Now if someone is sick, a department can go empty all day because the second employee for that department were too busy trying to take care of the 3 other departments they are expected to work in that day, plus be called up front to work the register whenever the lines get too long because cashiers are short handed. Literally, there are days when they only have once maintenance worker covering that 190k square foot building, and you'll hear them call for maintenance to multiple locations in the store at once. Then the maintenance worker gets written up for not getting to all the areas immediately when they were called.

They've started posting messages on the walls by the clock in station, with messages from some random big wig at corporate, telling us the importance of making sure the shelves remain fully stocked. It's as if they are intentionally ignoring that there are not enough employees to keep things stocked. These human beings can't split into two to get the job done.

I can imagine this is happening among truck drivers, there isn't enough drivers and trucks to get the goods delivered within the time period WalMart needs. My store got so backed up on on goods in our back room, we had to do a purge and send the stuff to other stores for them to sell. We just couldn't get them out on the floor and sell them as fast as they came in. Add to it, I think truck drivers are not getting paid enough and instead of demanding more pay they are actually demanding 80 hour work weeks, dressed up as needing more time to get their trucks to their destinations on time.

It's like nothing is more important than getting a truck load of material objects to a destination on time. Not even a human beings life.

WalMart is openly ignoring the danger they are presenting by pressuring all their employees to work outside what they are humanly able to do.

Fappy:
If they can prove Walmart was aware of the driver's lack of sleep (which they should be able to do with a simple subpoena), then more power to them. IIRC a truck drive in the US is not legally allowed to drive more than 15 hours every 24 hours.

I don't think they even have to prove THAT, tbh. If they can prove WalMart has a system in place for its drivers which either forces them to or makes them feel obligated to drive longer and farther than regulations allow, then they also have a case. Or even just a system that lacks safeguards or checks to make sure drivers don't push themselves too far.

Ultratwinkie:
Do they care enough to go after Walmart? again, no.

Eh. Maybe if it was a bigger celebrity. No offense to Morgan or his late mentor, but I think you'd need to be bigger than a 30 Rock/SNL Alumni to hurt Wal-Mart.

Though even if they do get hit, Wal-Mart won't feel it. They'll punish their employees and raise prices on consumers.

008Zulu:
I think he should, as part of the lawsuit, try to overhaul the forced working conditions. Make them give the employees a fair deal.

If the multiple suits and investigations brought against them specifically related to that didn't do anything, I doubt this one will.

Fappy:
If they can prove Walmart was aware of the driver's lack of sleep (which they should be able to do with a simple subpoena), then more power to them. IIRC a truck drive in the US is not legally allowed to drive more than 15 hours every 24 hours.

I have little doubt they could.

Lilani:

I don't think they even have to prove THAT, tbh. If they can prove WalMart has a system in place for its drivers which either forces them to or makes them feel obligated to drive longer and farther than regulations allow, then they also have a case. Or even just a system that lacks safeguards or checks to make sure drivers don't push themselves too far.

Basically, the accusations that came from drivers was that if they didn't do extra time on the road, they'd find their hours cut way the hell back. So while they technically weren't forced, they couldn't afford not to.

This is also what they did in the stores around my area when I was working for them. The major difference being that we weren't operating multi-ton machines that could kill if we dozed off, and since Wal-Mart is against overtime for hourly employees, extra hours usually only brought people up to 40. Which could still be problematic if you, like many of the people there, worked a second job, but it still wasn't as harsh as with drivers.

Arnt there laws for truck drivers in America? In the Uk they are only allowed to drive for a certain amount of time per day as well as break times after certain amount of hours driving. They have these things in their trucks that record all these times etc (As you can tell, i dont know the specifics. lol) If the USA does have these laws then the driver could reported the company and sued them for breaking health and safety laws plus any other truck driving laws.

SonOfVoorhees:
Arnt there laws for truck drivers in America? In the Uk they are only allowed to drive for a certain amount of time per day as well as break times after certain amount of hours driving. They have these things in their trucks that record all these times etc (As you can tell, i dont know the specifics. lol) If the USA does have these laws then the driver could reported the company and sued them for breaking health and safety laws plus any other truck driving laws.

In merica! they call that communism.

SonOfVoorhees:
Arnt there laws for truck drivers in America? In the Uk they are only allowed to drive for a certain amount of time per day as well as break times after certain amount of hours driving. They have these things in their trucks that record all these times etc (As you can tell, i dont know the specifics. lol) If the USA does have these laws then the driver could reported the company and sued them for breaking health and safety laws plus any other truck driving laws.

There are such laws. The most they can drive is 11 hours and they must take a 30 minute lunch break during an 8 hour shift. And they must rest for 10 hours. If they work 70 hours in 8 days, they must rest for 34 consecutive hours before working again. The DoT regulates this and can fine companies for breaking such laws. Trucks are also equipped with meters to record how long a driver is driving, so it's pretty much impossible to lie about it.

From what I've read, the driver in question was not quite at his maximum number of hours yet. I think he had only been on the road about nine and a half hours. However, he also apparently didn't sleep for around 14 hours before even going into work, and had been up for over 24 hours. The driver was also driving 20 MPH over the speed limit (roughly 32 KPH) at the time of the crash.

Most likely the driver was falling asleep at the wheel, but this was largely due to him acting irresponsible. Not that Wal-Mart doesn't have some responsibility for the incident.

The thing that gets me is that I have been in the cab of several Big Rigs and every one that I have ever seen has a small area for sleeping behind the driver and passenger seats. So, it's not like he couldn't pull over in a rest area and catch a nap, if he needed.

Sorry, I'm not calling anybody al a liar but 24 hours without sleep doesn't impair you that badly. 3 or 4 days fucks you up but 2?

I know it's akin to drinking alchol 'cos youre reactions are so slowed but how fast is this trolley tractor going? Not saying the article is wrong but I think it's more to do with the tractor than the lack of sleep.

omega 616:
Sorry, I'm not calling anybody al a liar but 24 hours without sleep doesn't impair you that badly. 3 or 4 days fucks you up but 2?

I know it's akin to drinking alchol 'cos youre reactions are so slowed but how fast is this trolley tractor going? Not saying the article is wrong but I think it's more to do with the tractor than the lack of sleep.

The vehicle was going 20 miles over the speed limit. So even if he wasn't sleep deprived, he probably would've crashed anyway (though being awake would have at least given more options). Also, while you can work for days on end, after around 20 hours, you body WILL start to make you sleep. One of the ways it can do that is "flash sleeping." In such a state you fall into a deep sleep for about 10 seconds then wake up without ever realizing you fell asleep. Now, doing this in an office or a similar location will not hurt anyone. Doing this while driving, on the other hand is practically suicide. You aren't supposed to drive, operate dangerous machinery, or do any time-important activities if you haven't slept properly.

Why is this story even on this site?

Obviously, Walfart should take a beating on this. Aside from just plain deserving it, it's damning to find human lives ended - others injured - on your clock, so to speak. And if they don't get the punishment they deserve, I call upon comedians everywhere to ruthlessly ream the hell out of the stores until they bend!

omega 616:
Sorry, I'm not calling anybody al a liar but 24 hours without sleep doesn't impair you that badly. 3 or 4 days fucks you up but 2?

I know it's akin to drinking alchol 'cos youre reactions are so slowed but how fast is this trolley tractor going? Not saying the article is wrong but I think it's more to do with the tractor than the lack of sleep.

My personal experience (and I spent time working as a driver for a several years) says differently. I could, and often did pull long hours with very little sleep on night shifts and I had a devil of a time getting sleep during the day. If I went more than 24 hours without sleep I always noticed a difference...if you don't then either you're fooling yourself or you have a superhuman constitution.

PirateRose:
It's an issue of both pay, hours, and lack of employees.

When I had first starting working for Walmart nearly a decade ago, they had enough employees in each department to cover when some was sick. Now if someone is sick, a department can go empty all day because the second employee for that department were too busy trying to take care of the 3 other departments they are expected to work in that day, plus be called up front to work the register whenever the lines get too long because cashiers are short handed. Literally, there are days when they only have once maintenance worker covering that 190k square foot building, and you'll hear them call for maintenance to multiple locations in the store at once. Then the maintenance worker gets written up for not getting to all the areas immediately when they were called.

They've started posting messages on the walls by the clock in station, with messages from some random big wig at corporate, telling us the importance of making sure the shelves remain fully stocked. It's as if they are intentionally ignoring that there are not enough employees to keep things stocked. These human beings can't split into two to get the job done.

I can imagine this is happening among truck drivers, there isn't enough drivers and trucks to get the goods delivered within the time period WalMart needs. My store got so backed up on on goods in our back room, we had to do a purge and send the stuff to other stores for them to sell. We just couldn't get them out on the floor and sell them as fast as they came in. Add to it, I think truck drivers are not getting paid enough and instead of demanding more pay they are actually demanding 80 hour work weeks, dressed up as needing more time to get their trucks to their destinations on time.

It's like nothing is more important than getting a truck load of material objects to a destination on time. Not even a human beings life.

WalMart is openly ignoring the danger they are presenting by pressuring all their employees to work outside what they are humanly able to do.

my ex-gf's mother died at the cash register, it was a aneurism. she literally just fell to the floor dead, I can think few worse deaths than dying at the cash register of a Wal-Mart.

PirateRose:
It's an issue of both pay, hours, and lack of employees.

They've started posting messages on the walls by the clock in station, with messages from some random big wig at corporate, telling us the importance of making sure the shelves remain fully stocked. It's as if they are intentionally ignoring that there are not enough employees to keep things stocked. These human beings can't split into two to get the job done.

This, right here. I've worked both at Wal-Mart and Extra Foods and in the 4 or 5 years I worked at Extra Foods, and the year I worked at Wal-Mart sucked ass. I got into a management position at Extra Foods and I had to deal with BS conference calls, meeting, training, and deal with a few district managers and above. I can tell you that the majority of people above even a simple store manager give absolutely ZERO fucks about if your store has enough employees, and guess what if shit doesn't get done because you're short staffed because everyone knows how much it sucks to work retail. You're the one who gets the luxury of working 12+ hours a day 7 days a week.

While I have to say that obviously not every district manager or higher up is that way, my experiences have left me a bit jaded. But I always stuck/stick up for them because I know the conditions they work in, so when people start bitching and moaning in a grocery store I normally, kindly inform them of what the situation probably is.

OT: It's sad what happened, hope he gets better soon. It's also sad that the only thing this will accomplish for Wal-Mart will be another useless "Rule" that is never enforced due to any number of other reasons

I want to hope this will bring to light a lot of the shit Walmart does. I want to, but somehow I don't think it will happen. The people who care already know about it and a lot of other people just don't care at all.

Reading recent news about Lindsay Lohan and Scarlet Johansen suing their creators due to some mild similarities to fictional characters, I'm happy to see somebody getting sued (a giant corperation) for justifiable reasons. Killing his friend and mentor, fair enough, potentially impariring him for the rest of his life is extra cream 'get the fuck outta here' cake.

Saltyk:
From what I've read, I think the blame mostly belongs on the driver. It sounds like he had been up for a long time before even going into work, which is a case of him acting irresponsibly. He wasn't even maxed out on his daily hours, though he was close. So, personally, I think the majority of the blame is on the driver, and he should face prosecution.

He most likely will.
Still when suing in an accident you sue the company/person that pays for the insurance, in this case Walmart.

beef_razor:
Why is this story even on this site?

Because it is. It gets really old seeing people ask the same dumb question with every single story not related to videogames. Wal-Mart is a big company. And this is putting it mildly. It's a safe bet that the majority of people that frequent this site currently work or at one point have worked there. Just as it's a safe bet that pretty much everyone knows who Tracy Morgan is and might have enjoyed his standup, time on SNL, Community, or Scare Tactics. One is suing the other. That's news, pop culture news that one would not normally see on the big networks because they're too focused on Benghazi, Iraq, and various other mass killings. The Escapist has diversified, in case you haven't realized. It's not just a videogame site anymore and has not been for quite some time.

omega 616:
Sorry, I'm not calling anybody al a liar but 24 hours without sleep doesn't impair you that badly. 3 or 4 days fucks you up but 2?

I know it's akin to drinking alchol 'cos youre reactions are so slowed but how fast is this trolley tractor going? Not saying the article is wrong but I think it's more to do with the tractor than the lack of sleep.

Lol because we're all a hive mind with the same reaction to lack of sleep. I know if I go 24 hours without sleep I am a complete, barely functioning wreck.

As for OP: Geeze. I hope he recovers. Pretty sucky someone had to die because of Wal-Marts terrible practices. I know anecdotes aren't valid in arguments but I've heard enough from Wal-Mart employees to say Wal-Mart is probably at fault to a high degree here. We'll have to see what the court decides on that, though.

A lot of celebrities make a lot of frivolous lawsuits against companies with very shakey rationales.

THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM.

Puts the whole Lindsay Lohan thinks someone in GTA5 looks too much like her thing into perspective.

The kind of long hours that truck drivers are often expected to put up with is one of those things that is probably illegal but no-one brings it up because "everyone else seems fine with it" and nobody wants to go up against their employer for something like that. Odds are they'd just have everything turned on them anyway and I think Wal-Mart are in a very good position for that to be the case in this instance.

It's a huge shame that this kind of tragedy is the only way that these things actually get addressed properly.

BigTuk:

Ultratwinkie:
Everyone knows Walmart pushes its employees to their very limit on low pay to cut corners.

Walmart and every other company out there.

[snip]

If anyone is to blame.. it's the driver. I mean he should have had better judgement. If you suspect you are too out of it to safely do your job... then take a day. The worst that could happen in that scenario is you lose your job ... in this case he's already lost his job so in the end it was poor judgement on his part.

Every company may mistreat their workers to some extent, but WalMart goes above and beyond in that regard. This is the company that was revealed to be cooking the books so they didn't have to pay their employees a fair wage or give them benefits owed to full time workers. This is a company where "you're a woman and you're black" is seen as a justified reason for not promoting somebody. This is the company that fires workers for gathering in groups during breaks. This is the company that, rather than pay their workers a livable salary, asked customers to donate food for them.

And blaming the drive is easy without any proper perspective. I would not be surprised if WalMart makes him drive shifts that are too long or too frequent.

"The worst that can happen in that scenario is you lose your job". Yeah, so what if his kids starve? He can always have more.

Now, did WalMart force him to work long shifts? Was he working the job to support a family that had no other income?

Maybe, maybe not, but its probable enough to not dismiss it outright as "he should know better".

Yeah, we still get truck drivers who are overworked around here sometimes, but if they are caught, there are consequences. The drivers are mandated by law to take regular breaks and get sleep and whatnot. I'd hate to see our roads without such legislation, even if it obviously cannot prevent all cases. Do the USA have similar and Wal-Mart broke the law or are the regulations more lax on that point? Because, frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if it was the latter.

I've talked to several Walmart drives while I was working for the company. Drivers are regularly asked to keep two sets of driver logs so they can drive over their set hours. I doubt the court will find Walmart guilty as they have spent alot of resources creating a level of deniablity between their illegal demands and whats written on paper. Usually this is done by saying "you don't have to work the extra time but if you don't we'll cut your hours to nothing" I witnessed alot of this working for them and majorly contributed to me finding a new line of work.

Question: Shouldn't he be suing just the driver or the driver as well? It was the driver's job to made sure he/she was awake and able to properly drive the vehicle.

epicdwarf:
Question: Shouldn't he be suing just the driver or the driver as well? It was the driver's job to made sure he/she was awake and able to properly drive the vehicle.

An employer is responsible for the actions of an employee while they are on the clock. I suppose you could try to sue the driver instead, but Walmart has the same legal culpability and you can sue them for a lot more.

Also, I cannot imagine a world where they do not settle this out of court.

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