Wal-Mart has settled a civil suit with the family of James McNair, the comedian killed last year in an auto fatality involving a Walmart truck. McNair, 62, was traveling with comedian Tracy Morgan who was also seriously injured in the crash that took place in New Jersey.
Brooke Buchanan, media spokeswomen for Wal-Mart Stores, confirmed the settlement in a phone interview Thursday (Jan. 22).
“We know there is nothing we can do to change what happened to Mr. McNair, but Walmart and his family have worked closely together to reach an agreement. Walmart will continue to work to conclude all of the remaining issues and we’re committed to doing what’s right,” Buchanan said.
She added that the terms of the settlement were sealed by the court. Daryl Zaslow, attorney for the McNair family, said the retail giant admitted no liability in the accident.
Truck driver Kevin Roper has pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault-by-auto. Federal investigators found that Roper was driving 20 miles per hour more than the speed limit just before the crash. Wal-Mart has said the passengers were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.
Buchanan told The City Wire that Roper remains employed with the Wal-Mart but is on administrative leave and not allowed to drive pending the outcome of the investigation.
This settlement was the first resolution in the ongoing investigation. In July, Morgan and three others sued Wal-Mart in federal court alleging the retailer was negligent in connection to the crash.
Wal-Mart said in July that it was committed to doing the right thing for all involved in the tragedy.
“We are deeply sorry that one of our trucks was involved … we’re cooperating fully in the ongoing investigation. We know it will take some time to resolve all of the remaining issues as a result of the accident,” the retailer said.