Walmart Steps Up for Comedian Tracy Morgan in Settlement


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Walmart (one of DiversityInc’s 25 noteworthy companies) reached a legal settlement with comedian and actor Tracy Morgan in the tragic crash last June that killed Morgan’s friend and fellow comedian, James McNair (known as Jimmy Mack), and severely injured Morgan and other passengers in his limousine.

“Wal-Mart did right by me and my family, and for my associates and their families.I am grateful that the case was resolved amicably,” Morgan said in a statement according to the LA Times.

Benedict Morelli, Morgan’s attorney, also explained that Walmart “took full responsibility for accident.”

The details of the settlement were not revealed, but it was reported earlier this year that the children of James McNair received a settlement of $10 million from Walmart to be disbursed in increasing monthly payments for the rest of their lives.

“While we know there is nothing that can change what happened, Wal-Mart has been committed to doing what’s right to help ensure the well-being of all of those who were impacted by the accident,” said Greg Foran, the company’s U.S. president, in a statement.

Tracy Morgan suffered a traumatic brain injury in the 2014 crash on the New Jersey Turnpike involving a Walmart truck. The driver, Kevin Roper, was speeding and had been awake for 24 hours. The driver pleaded not guilty to death by auto and four counts of assault by auto, and the accident itself became part of a greater discussion about fatigue among truck drivers.

As a performer, Tracy Morgan was notable as one of the few Black comics to be a member of the iconic show Saturday Night Live. His comedic style often didn’t mesh well with the mostly white writers on the show, but he became a standout during his seven years on the program.

According to the BBC, Morgan’s attorney stated in March that Morgan had not yet returned to performing, though the comedian was said to be “working very hard to get better, physically, emotionally and mentally.”

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