Family of James McNair, man killed in Tracy Morgan crash, settles with Wal-Mart

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
37 PHOTOS
Tracy Morgan crash
See Gallery
Family of James McNair, man killed in Tracy Morgan crash, settles with Wal-Mart
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Actor Tracy Morgan visits 106 & Park at BET studio on April 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/BET/Getty Images)
This Friday, April 21, 2013 image released by South Beach Comedy Festival shows comedian Tracy Morgan performing during the 8th Annual South Beach Comedy Festival in Miami Beach, Fla. The comedy festival runs through April 21. (AP Photo/South Beach Comedy Festival 2013, Mitchell Zachs)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26: James McNair at A Toast To Young Hollywood at Sofitel Hotel on June 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Prince Williams/Getty Images)
PEEKSKILL, NY - JUNE 12: A general view at James McNair's funeral service at Paramount Theater on June 12, 2014 in Peekskill, New York. McNair was killed on the New Jersey turnpike in an multi-vehicle accident that seriously injured fellow comedian Tracy Morgan on June 7, 2014. (Photo by Kenneth Gabrielsen/Getty Images)
PEEKSKILL, NY - JUNE 12: A general view at James McNair's funeral service at Paramount Theater on June 12, 2014 in Peekskill, New York. McNair was killed on the New Jersey turnpike in an multi-vehicle accident that seriously injured fellow comedian Tracy Morgan on June 7, 2014. (Photo by Kenneth Gabrielsen/Getty Images)
Jamel, right, and Danita McNair, the children of James McNair, are interviewed in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015. The family of McNair, a comedian killed in the crash that seriously injured Tracy Morgan last summer, has settled a wrongful death claim with Wal-Mart, an attorney representing the family said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26: Ricki Brazil, Floyd Mayweather Jr., J'Leon Love and James McNair at A Toast To Young Hollywood at Sofitel Hotel on June 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Prince Williams/Getty Images)
PEEKSKILL, NY - JUNE 12: Jamel McNair, son of James McNair, is seen at his father's funeral service at Paramount Theater on June 12, 2014 in Peekskill, New York. McNair was killed on the New Jersey turnpike in an multi-vehicle accident that seriously injured fellow comedian Tracy Morgan on June 7, 2014. (Photo by Kenneth Gabrielsen/Getty Images)
Traffic moves pass the scene of a serious accident at milepost 71 on the northbound lanes of New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday, June 7, 2014 near Cranbury, N.J. Comedian Tracy Morgan is in critical condition following an early morning accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. The comedian was injured in a crash involving six vehicles that left at least one person dead and several others, including Morgan, with serious injuries. (AP Photo/David Gard)
Traffic moves pass the scene of a serious accident at milepost 71 on the northbound lanes of New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday, June 7, 2014 near Cranbury, N.J. Comedian Tracy Morgan is in critical condition following an early morning accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. The comedian was injured in a crash involving six vehicles that left at least one person dead and several others, including Morgan, with serious injuries. (AP Photo/David Gard)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Actor/comedian Tracy Morgan visits Covino and Rich at SiriusXM Studios on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
This photo provided by the New Jersey State Police shows Kevin Roper. Roper, a Wal-Mart truck driver from Georgia, was charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto in the wake of a deadly chain-reaction crash on the New Jersey Turnpike early Saturday, June 7, 2014, that left actor-comedian Tracy Morgan and two others critically injured and another man dead. (AP Photo/New Jersey State Police)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Tracy Morgan speaks onstage at Spike TV's 'Don Rickles: One Night Only' on May 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Spike TV)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Tracy Morgan and Meghan Wollover attend the Spike TV's 'Don Rickles: One Night Only' on May 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Spike TV)
Alec Baldwin, right, and Tracy Morgan joke around backstage after "30 Rock" won the award for outstanding comedy series at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Billy Baldwin is at rear right. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 10: Jack McBrayer, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski and Alec Baldwin visit 'Late Night With Jimmy Fallon' at Rockefeller Center on January 10, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight, (12:00 - 1:06 a.m., ET), following 'Nightline,' packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects. The guests for TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30 included Howard Stern ('The Howard Stern Show'), actor Tracy Morgan ('30 Rock') and musical guest Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. (Photo by Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images) HOWARD STERN, JIMMY KIMMEL, TRACY MORGAN
30 ROCK -- 'Governor Dunston' Episode 702 -- Pictured: Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan -- (Photo by: Ali Goldstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
30 ROCK -- 'The Beginning of the End' Episode 701 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jack McBrayer as Kenneth Parcell, Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan -- (Photo by: Ali Goldstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
30 ROCK -- 'The Tuxedo Begins' Episode 608 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tina Fey as Liz Lemon, Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan (Photo by Ali Goldstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 20 -- Aired 05/10/2003 -- Pictured: (l-r) Dan Aykroyd as chief science officer, Tracy Morgan as Astronaut Jones during 'Astronaut Jones' skit (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 7 -- Air Date 12/06/2003 -- Pictured: Tracy Morgan as Brian Fellows during the 'Brian Fellow's Safari Planet' skit on December 6, 2008 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Tracy Morgan' Episode 1549 -- Airdate 03/14/2009 -- Pictured: Tracy Morgan (Photo by Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Tracy Morgan' Episode 1549 -- Airdate 03/14/2009 -- Pictured: Tracy Mogran (Photo by Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- 'Tracy Morgan' Episode 1549 -- Airdate 03/14/2009 -- Pictured: Tracy Morgan (Photo by Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 11 -- Aired 02/08/2003 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan as Joe Jackson, Jimmy Fallon during 'Weekend Update' (Photo by Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 17 -- Air Date 04/13/2002 -- Pictured: (l-r) Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan as themselves during 'A Message from Saturday Night Live' on April 13, 2002 (Photo by Norman Ng/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Air Date 04/06/2002 -- Pictured: (l-r) Cameron Diaz as Renada, Maya Rudolph as Jennifer, Tracy Morgan as Keith, during the 'MTV Spring Break' skit on April 6, 2002 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 6 -- Air Date 11/17/2001 -- Pictured: Tracy Morgan during the 'War Party' skit on Novmeber 17,2001 (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 10 -- Aired 01/20/2001 -- Pictured: (l-r) Janet Reno, Tracy Morgan, Darrell Hammond onstage (Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 9 -- Aired 01/13/2001 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tracy Morgan as Eric Dickerson, Will Ferrell as Dan Fouts during 'Eric Dickerson's NFL Pre-game Show' skit (Photo by Norman Ng/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 16 -- Pictured: (l-r) Chris Kattan as T'Ai Shay, Tracy Morgan as Devon during 'Jenny Jones' skit on April 8, 2000 -- (Photo by: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 6 -- Pictured: (l-r) Colin Quinn, Tracy Morgan during the 'Weekend Update' skit on November 20, 1999 -- Photo by: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tracy Morgan as Walt Dupree, Will Ferrell as Tom Bergeron, Cameron Diaz as Danika Sharpe during 'The New Hollywood Squares' skit on September 26, 1998 -- (Photo by: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 20 -- Pictured: (l-r) Colin Quinn as employee, Molly Shannon as employee, Ana Gasteyer as Janet Blaum, Tracy Morgan as employee during the 'Rant' skit on May 17, 1997 -- Photo by: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1 -- Air Date 09/28/1996 -- Pictured: Tracy Morgan as William 'The Refrigerator' Perry during the 'Hey, Remember The 80's' skit on September 28, 1996 -- Photo by: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBCU Photo Bank
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


NEW YORK (AP) - The family of a comedian killed in a New Jersey Turnpike crash that seriously injured Tracy Morgan last summer has settled a wrongful-death claim with Wal-Mart.

The out-of-court settlement between Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the estate of James McNair is the first stemming from the June 7 crash, in which a Wal-Mart truck slammed into a limo van carrying Morgan and others home from a show in Delaware.

Morgan, the former "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" star, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the accident, according to his lawyer. Criminal charges against truck driver Kevin Roper are pending in state court in New Jersey.

McNair, 62, of Peekskill, grew up with Morgan in Brooklyn and was a friend and mentor to him over the years.

The terms of the settlement are confidential, but McNair family attorney Daryl Zaslow told The Associated Press the family was pleased with the outcome.

Wal-Mart "caused extensive damage" to the family but accepted responsibility and "more than stepped up to the plate and took care of this family," Zaslow said.

"Ultimately they did the right thing by the McNairs," he said.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said the company, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, was working toward settlements with others injured in the accident.

"We know there is nothing we can do to change what happened to Mr. McNair," Buchanan said. "We're committed to doing what's right."

In an interview with the AP on Wednesday, McNair's children - Denita, 19, and Jamel, 26 - described their father as a humble, grounded man. They said he attained a level of fame but cared less about the trappings of celebrity than about helping others, whether through advice to young comedians or giving out free Thanksgiving turkeys to needy families in his hometown.

"You don't have to be a celebrity to make a difference in a lot of people's lives," Jamel McNair said. "My dad made a huge difference in a lot of people's lives."

Denita McNair was about to graduate from high school at the time of her father's death, and she said she hopes to go to college eventually after taking some time off. Jamel McNair is pursuing a singing career. Both said they haven't been contacted by Morgan or his representatives since the accident.

An attorney representing Morgan didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the settlement. The lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said last month that Morgan hadn't fully recovered from his brain injury and that it was uncertain if he would be "the Tracy Morgan he once was."

Passengers Ardley Fuqua, of Jersey City, New Jersey, and Jeffrey Millea, of Shelton, Connecticut, also suffered serious injuries in the June crash. A lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart by Morgan, Fuqua and Millea is proceeding in federal court.

Under terms of the settlement, Wal-Mart admitted no liability in the crash, Zaslow said, adding that the settlement was reached before the formal filing of a lawsuit.

Roper, the driver, has pleaded not guilty to charges of death by auto and assault by auto. According to the criminal complaint, Roper was operating the truck without having slept for more than 24 hours.

A preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board estimated that Roper was driving 65 mph in the 60 seconds before he slammed into the limo van. The speed limit on that stretch of the turnpike is 55 mph and was lowered to 45 mph that night because of construction.

James McNair's Family Settles With Wal-Mart Over Crash
Read Full Story

People are Reading