By: Michael L. Wright
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$10 Million Settlement Reached In Fatal Walmart Accident
Walmart Agrees To Pay $10 Million To Comedian’s Children After He was Fatally Killed In A Walmart Accident Also Involving Tracing Morgan
A Walmart Accident that killed James McNair and injured comedian Tracy Morgan and several others has resulted in an out-of-court settlement of $10 Million. According to court documents, in this Walmart negligence lawsuit involving one of their tractor trailers, the children of Mr. McNair will receive a $10 million settlement placed in an annuity paid out in increasing payments starting at $3,000 a month. According to court papers, Wal-Mart settled with the family to avoid further losses from litigation.
The children James McNair sued Wal-Mart after one of its trucks slammed into the back of the limousine carrying McNair, Morgan, and several other people on June 7, 2014. According to police reports, the driver had been speeding at the time of the accidents. New Jersey police charged the tractor trailer driver with death by automobile and four other vehicle assault charges. The driver has not been indicted for the charges as of March, 2015. [http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/21/nyregion/walmart-pays-10-million-to-family-of-comedian-killed-in-tracy-morgan-crash.html?_r=0, March 2015]
According to court records, the McNairs signed the settlement in October 2014, but the settlement was not announced until January 2015 due to a signed confidentiality agreement. Legal documents filed in March 2015 in the Westchester Surrogate’s Court revealed the payout amount. According to the family’s lawyer, James McNair didn’t have a large income and worked part-time at a Salvation Army between writing and stand-up comedy gigs. McNair died instantly in the Wal-Mart crash.
The daughter of McNair said in a statement about the settlement, “While no amount of money could replace my father, the amount of money Mr. Zaslow was able to obtain again greatly exceeds anything I imagined and I could not be more grateful.”
A spokesperson for Wal-Mart said in a statement, “We deeply regret the loss of Mr. McNair as a result of the accident, but Wal-Mart worked closely with his family to ensure their well-being. Wal-Mart will continue to work to conclude all other remaining issues, and we’re committed to doing what’s right.”
Morgan suffered a brain injury as well as multiple other injuries in the crash and is currently suing Wal-Mart. No settlement has been reached in his case.
The Tracy Morgan Crash is not the first time Wal-Mart tractor trailers have been involved in dangerous car crashes. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data, Wal-Mart drivers had 380 accidents between 2011 and 2013. 129 of these crashes resulted in injuries. The data also shows that Wal-Mart trucks usually receive a greater number of passing grades on inspections and is ranked in the top 0.5 percent of U.S. truck carriers in hours-of-service rule compliance. Wal-Mart says it requires its truck drivers to drive for no more than 11 hours at a time before taking a 10 hour rest. [
http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/crash-puts-walmart-truck-safety-scrutiny/293635/, March 2015]
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