Walmart is suing several insurance companies for declining to pay for its victims’ settlements, including the settlement for actor Tracy Morgan, which stemmed from the high profile crash in June 2014 on the New Jersey turnpike. That crash killed one person and left Morgan with serious injuries.
Two insurers have counter sued; they claim that Walmart did not put up enough of a fight to negotiate a lower settlement for the crash victims.
Walmart made settlements this year with the family of James McNair, who was killed in the crash, as well as the other crash victims, including Morgan.
Walmart filed a lawsuit against the insurance carriers last month. They claimed that the companies breached their contract by refusing to pay the settlements.
The fatal crash last year occurred just as legislators were trying to roll back some of the new trucker hours of service rules. Some said that the new rules were too limiting for truck drivers. However, the crash that happened on June 7 involved the Walmart driver Kevin Roper allegedly falling asleep behind the wheel of his truck. He then rear ended a van carrying Morgan, McNair and several others.
Roper has been charged with vehicular homicide. The NTSB found that the trucker had slept only four hours in the 30 hours before the crash. He also was going 20 MPH above the posted speed limit.
Our trucking accident attorneys are intimately familiar with the games that trucking companies and their insurance companies like to play to try to reduce or deny a liability claim. That is the reason we wrote the Truck Accident Injury Guide. This in depth guide details the most common truck crash violations, insurance policies for trucks and how they are different from regular insurance, and the most common ways trucking and insurance companies try to deny injury claims.
We once had a case where a trucker apparently fell asleep behind the wheel and rear ended our client, leading to two little girls sustaining severe injuries. The trucking company claimed that the trucker had a medical problem that caused the crash, but we were able to show that the trucker did not have any medical condition that could have caused the accident. That case was settled for $21 million.