Insureon Blog

Tracy Morgan Lawsuit against Walmart Highlights Commercial Auto Liability Issues

23. July 2014 08:13

car accident

According to an article by The Hollywood Reporter, comedian Tracy Morgan is suing Walmart for negligence. Walmart’s driver Kevin Roper, running on 24 hours without sleep, reportedly ran his truck into a limousine transporting Morgan and passengers on a New Jersey turnpike. Though all passengers sustained serious injuries that required hospitalization or surgery, comedian James McNair didn’t survive the crash.

Morgan’s suit alleges that Walmart should have known it was unreasonable for Roper to drive 700 miles before his shift and that Roper’s fatigue was the cause of the accident. The claim also notes that Walmart routinely breaks shift limit regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Though Roper was behind the wheel, the suit aims to make Walmart take responsibility for their driver’s actions. The plaintiffs – Morgan, his assistant Jeffrey Millea, Krista Millea, and comedian Ardie Fuqua – are seeking compensatory and statutory damages, punitive damages, and legal fees. In addition to suing for negligence, Krista Millea is suing for loss of consortium.

But this lawsuit isn’t just an anecdote. It’s a lesson for small-business owners. Let’s unpack it and see what you can learn from this unfortunate accident and subsequent lawsuit.

Lessons Learned from Tragedy: How to Safeguard Your Small Biz on the Road

Perhaps the most notable reminder from the Morgan lawsuit is simply this: your employees represent your business in every capacity. And when they drive on behalf of your business, you can be held liable for their mistakes and accidents – even if they happen in vehicles your business doesn’t own.

If you’re like most small-business owners, you likely don’t have the funds to defend your business against a negligence lawsuit spurred by an auto collision. It doesn’t help that these claims are some of the most costly that a person or business may face.

Fortunately, there are two ways to ensure your business has the funds to defend itself against such a lawsuit:

How to Find Appropriate Commercial Auto Coverage

To find appropriate insurance coverage for your business’s vehicles, answer the following:

For more information on Commercial Auto Insurance and Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance, contact one of our small business insurance agents.

know your business risks


Commercial Auto Insurance | Risk Management | Small Business | Small Business Risk Management | Tips for All Small Businesses

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