Blog

Tracy Morgan Accident Brings National Attention to Trucking Regulations

Photo of Brant Stogner

The June 7th truck crash that claimed the life of James "Jimmy Mack" McNair and critically injured Tracy Morgan and three other passengers has given new urgency to a long-running debate over federal rest rules for commercial truckers. According to the criminal charges against the driver of the Wal-Mart truck, Kevin Roper, he had not slept in 24 hours before he struck the limousine bus carrying Morgan, McNair, and others. Mr. Roper has been charged with vehicular homicide for reckless vehicle operation causing the death of McNair, and recklessly causing serious bodily injury for the injuries to Morgan and others. The crash occurred at about 1 a.m. on Saturday, June 7, 2014 on the New Jersey Turnpike when Roper drove the Wal-Mart tractor trailer into the rear of the limousine bus.

The American Trucking Association has been lobbying Congress to ease federal rules that limit truckers' schedule to 70 hours in a period of about two weeks. Prior rules allowed 82 hours during the same time period. The new rules imposed last summer by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration also require a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a driving shift. New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, has even weighed in on the subject, stating "whether behind the wheel of a truck, or automobile or motorcycle, if you're that tired, you need to pull over and get some sleep."

Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, disputed that Mr. Roper was working for 24 hours. "It is our belief that Mr. Roper was operating within the federal hours of service regulations," she said. The National Transportation Safety Board is also "gathering factual information" about the accident. Keith Holloway, a spokesman for NTSB, said the board doesn't investigate private companies like Wal-Mart; however, he indicated that Wal-Mart's driver protocols shall be strictly scrutinized.

Tyrone Gale, Morgan's driver, said the former Saturday Night Live star cried for help but he was unable to assist him after the vehicle overturned. Morgan is currently in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.

If you or someone you know have been injured or killed due to the negligence or wrongdoing of a trucking company, 18-wheeler driver, or commercial vehicle, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.587.9668

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories