Comedian Tracy Morgan has settled with Wal-Mart after a crash involving one of the company’s 18-wheelers last year left the future of his career uncertain.
On June 7, Morgan — best known for his work on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” — was in a limo bus when it was rear-ended by a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike. The crash killed comedy writer James McNair, but it seemed Morgan, even with a broken leg and broken ribs, was relatively unscathed. However, he has not appeared publicly since the incident.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Morgan praised the agreement.
“Wal-Mart did right by me and my family, and for my associates and their families,” Morgan, 46, said in a statement, as the Los Angeles Times reported. “I am grateful that the case was resolved amicably.”
Wal-Mart also said it was doing the right thing.
“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,” Greg Foran, the retail giant’s U.S. president, said in a statement.
Morgan sued Wal-Mart in July before shaming the company two months later for a claim it made that the comedian wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
“I can’t believe Wal-Mart is blaming me for an accident that they caused,” the comedian said in a statement last September, as Variety reported. “My friends and I were doing nothing wrong.”
Kevin Roper, the driver of the Wal-Mart truck, was charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto after the crash. Police alleged he had not slept for more than 24 hours at the time of the accident. The criminal case has not been resolved, but Roper failed in an attempt to delay the civil case, citing “intense media attention” that negatively would affect his criminal trial.
Morgan was working on a series with FXX, FX’s offshoot network, at the time of the crash. The network put the series on hold.
“The only thing we are concerned with is the health and recovery of Tracy Morgan and the victims of this tragic accident,” the network said. “We will support Tracy and his family in every way possible throughout his recovery. At the point when Tracy has recovered and decides that he is ready to go back to work, his show will be waiting for him. Right now our thoughts and prayers remain with Tracy, the other victims of the accident, and their families.”
The comedian did not put in an appearance at “SNL40,” the 40th anniversary of “Saturday Night Live.”
“I wish my friend Tracy Morgan was here tonight,” Tina Fey said on the show. “I know he was hoping he would be well enough to be here, too.” She added: “If he were here tonight, I’m sure Tracy would remind us that, more than anything, he would like to get us all pregnant.”
“When you have a traumatic brain injury it takes a very long time to find out how you’re going to do and how much you’re going to recover,” Benedict Morelli, Morgan’s attorney, said in November. “You just don’t know. So that’s where he is. He’s still fighting and trying to live his life at the same time and trying to get better, and he’s just not better. We’re hoping and praying to get him back to where he was. But the jury’s out.”