Part of the recovery process: Morgan suing Walmart over crash

Posted: July 15, 2014

WELL, we've learned at least one thing from the June 7 car crash that injured funny guy Tracy Morgan: There's no grass growing under his lawyers.

Almost simultaneously with the news that the former "30 Rock" co-star had been released from a rehab facility to continue mending at home came word that Morgan has filed suit against Walmart, which owns the truck that hit Morgan's limo-bus as it took the comic and his entourage back to New York from a gig at Delaware's Dover Downs casino.

Comic and longtime Morgan pal James "Jimmy Mack" McNair died in the accident on the New Jersey Turnpike, while Morgan suffered a broken leg and broken ribs.

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, Georgia resident Kevin Roper fell asleep at the wheel of his truck while traveling 65 mph in an area with a posted limit of 45 mph. Roper allegedly commuted 700 miles to get to the truck and begin his shift, the suit said, and Walmart should have known the driver was in violation of federal regs designed to keep long-distance truckers rested and alert.

"As a result of Mr. Roper's fatigue, he fell asleep behind the wheel of his truck while he was driving, failed to slow down for traffic ahead and resultantly collided with the limo," the suit claims. Also, a sophisticated collision-avoidance system on Roper's Peterbilt truck failed to engage.

In response, Walmart expressed condolences toward those involved in the accident and said in a statement, "We know it will take some time to resolve all of the remaining issues as a result of the accident. But we're committed to doing the right thing for all involved."

Morgan and other passengers in the limo are reportedly looking for a jury trial. The amount Morgan is seeking was not disclosed.

Rick has Meek's back

Music mahoff Rick Ross, overlord of the Maybach Music Group, is standing by his pal Meek Mill after the Philly rapper's sentencing Friday to three to six months in jail for probation violations.

"[When] I created MMG years ago, my desire was to create a space where the most talented artists in the world could be nurtured and supported," Ross said in a statement to MTV News. "With that came a commitment. I vowed to support these artists, through the good and the bad. Every individual signed to MMG is not just an artist, they are my family. And with family you ride, or you die."

Ross also said that he expects Mill's sophomore CD, "Dreams Worth More Than Money," will drop on or close to Sept. 9 as planned.

Great 'Hook' for NBC

While the rest of us are in fun-in-the-sun mode, the People Paper's Ellen Gray is spending much of the month at the annual TV Critics Association Tour, in L.A. Over the weekend, the Eyes of the Viewing Public posted two items of note on her blog,

The first is that Christopher Walken has been signed to portray Captain Hook in NBC's upcoming live version of "Peter Pan." While Walken is beloved for playing totally bonkers characters of the sociopathing ilk, the guy can sing and hoof like nobody's business. If you don't believe Tattle, check out his work in "Pennies From Heaven" on YouTube.

'Cos' for hope

Gray also reports that Bill Cosby's much-anticipated return to the sitcom wars is still a "go," although it's not expected to happen any time soon.

"It's still being written . . . could be next summer," NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told reporters during a Q&A session yesterday.

Cosby is developing the sitcom with actor-writer-producer Mike O'Malley. Gray describes the concept as "a multigenerational sitcom in which the comedian would play the father of three grown daughters and would be 'dispensing wisdom.' "

Gee, talk about playing against type . . .

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.

On Twitter: @chuckdarrow


Howard Gensler has the day off.

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