Truck Driver in Tracy Morgan Crash Not Allowed to Intervene in Personal Injury Suit


Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was "fighting hard every day to get back," according to this ABC News report from last year, after a major crash involving a Wal-Mart truck driver who'd gone without sleep for 24 hours. We wrote about Morgan's traumatic brain injury and how the road to recovery in such cases can be long and uncertain.

The latest news, meanwhile, is how the truck driver charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto (in addition to Morgan's injuries, three other people were injured and one person was killed) tried to intervene in the civil lawsuit against Wal-Mart.

David Voreacos, reporting for Bloomberg, writes about how the truck driver lost his bid to halt the civil lawsuit, based on concerns about preserving his right to a fair criminal trial, his right to avoid self-incrimination, and the potential that prosecutors will obtain information they otherwise wouldn't be able to obtain were it not for the civil lawsuit.

The judge didn't agree.

Voreacos quotes U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois Goodman: "[The truck driver] has not cited a single case in which a criminal defendant was allowed to intervene in a civil case in which he was not named to protect his rights in his criminal case."

Hours-of-Service Regulations

Generally, under hours-of-service regulations, truck drivers are not supposed to be driving for 24 hours with no sleep, as prosecutors allege in the case against the truck driver in Morgan's crash. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driving in such a way increases your risk of a crash.


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