retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that on the day that the two sides met in court for a pretrial session, attorneys for comedian Tracy Morgan ("30 Rock," "Saturday Night Live") said that he continues to suffer from a traumatic brain injury caused when his limo bus was hit by a Walmart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike last June.

“He’s fighting to get better, and if there’s a chance for him to be back to the Tracy Morgan he once was, he’s going to try to do that,” said Benedict Morelli, Morgan’s attorney. “But we just don’t know because of the severity of the injuries that he sustained and the fact that he had such a severe brain injury.”

The crash killed comedy writer James McNair. It was caused when a Walmart-owned truck, driven by a Walmart driver at a speed 20 miles over the speed limit on the NJ Turnpike, plowed into Morgan's car and five others last summer. The truck driver, Kevin Roper, has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges that include vehicular homicide and assault by auto. Reports at the time said that Roper had been awake for 24 hours.

The Post notes that "Morgan’s attorneys are seeking punitive and compensatory damages for his injuries, which Walmart claims were partly caused by the fact Morgan wasn’t wearing a seat belt."
KC's View:
It seems to me that the Walmart lawyers must be mostly concerned with limiting the financial damage as quickly as possible in this case - the facts to this point look pretty damning, the victim is high profile, and it does not look like the kind of case in which it will be able to use an army of lawyers and plethora of motions to drag things out. They probably should do their best to end this thing and get out of the headlines.

But, when it is over, I hope that somehow it draws greater attention to truck safety on US highways.