Litigation over a New Jersey Turnpike crash in June of last year, which critically injured 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan and his associates, has ended in an undisclosed settlement. The crash was caused by Kevin Roper who was driving a Walmart tractor-trailer and failed to stop for slowing traffic. Court documents state the driver of the Walmart truck was traveling at 65 mph when he crashed into the vehicle in which Tracy Morgan and associates were passengers. Due to road construction, the posted speed limit was lowered to 45 mph. Walmart accepted liability and agreed to settle the claims contingent upon confidentiality.
Tracy Morgan was severely injured in the crash, breaking bones in both legs, broken ribs and a broken nose. His associates Ardley Fuqua and Jeffrey Millea were also critically injured in the crash. Comedian James “Uncle Jimmy Mack” McNair was killed in the crash. His family has also reached a settlement in the wrongful death claim filed on their behalf.
Why is the settlement undisclosed?
When settlements are reached in personal injury cases, some defendants will request a confidential settlement from the plaintiff’s attorney and the court. There are several reasons for this. Sometimes settlements are reached in cases where liability is clear-cut. The defendant may request a confidentiality clause in the settlement agreement to avoid a potential public relations nightmare. Although clear-cut liability may have been a factor in this settlement, contested liability in some cases may be cause for a settlement. When a case is not clear on liability, the defendant may opt to agree on a settlement with the plaintiff to avoid incurring costs of further litigation in the form of defense counsel, expert testimony and trial expenses. The settlement may be made confidential to minimize exposure to the public which would spur an increase in the filing of claims. Often, the possible exposure to the public and further exposure to additional claims is the sole reason for a confidential settlement.
Are you entitled to a settlement for a tractor-trailer accident?
Our firm is well-versed in representing victims of tractor-trailer crashes. Our St. Louis personal injury attorneys have been representing people injured in crashes for over 25 years. If you have been involved in a tractor-trailer crash or any car crash, contact our firm today at 314-862-7222 to ensure your rights are being protected.