Tracy Morgan was seriously injured and his friend and fellow comic James McNair was killed when a Walmart truck hit their tour bus from behind back in June. The driver of that truck, Kevin Roper, sought to have the lawsuit filed by Tracy Morgan delayed. A federal judge has now ruled against that delay.
Page Six reports that Kevin Roper wanted to intervene in the lawsuit (the suit is against Walmart and not Roper) and delay it from moving forward until his criminal case could be resolved. He believes his right to a fair trial will be hampered if the lawsuit proceeds.
U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp wrote in his ruling that a delay would ‘unfairly affect the parties in Morgan’s suit and that Roper didn’t cite relevant case law to back up his claims or give specific examples of how he would be adversely affected.’ Shipp gave Roper the option to file another motion if information or materials are requested from him for the lawsuit while his criminal case is still unresolved.
Walmart has reached a settlement with the children of James McNair, but that amount has yet to be disclosed.
Walmart driver from Jonesboro loses bid to delay Tracy Morgan crash suit. http://t.co/DOUu030Ab7 pic.twitter.com/4NjnERmdlQ
— AJC (@ajc) February 4, 2015
The results of a preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board say Kevin Roper was driving 65 miles per hour in the 60 seconds before he slammed into the van that carried Tracy Morgan, James McNair, and comics Harris Stanton and Ardie Fuqua. The speed limit on that stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike is 55 miles per hour and was lowered to 45 miles per hour on the night of the crash because of construction.
Tracy Morgan sustained injuries that may be life lasting in the crash. The last time he was spotted out in public, he was still getting around with the aid of a walker. It will be interesting to see how a jury of his peers finds Kevin Roper.
It’s uncertain when his case will go to trial.