A judge has denied a request filed by a truck driver allegedly responsible for injuring comedian Tracy Morgan in a motor accident earlier this year to delay the federal lawsuit against Wal-Mart officials.
The former 30 Rock star was left critically injured in June when a limousine he was a passenger in collided with a Wal-Mart superstore truck driven by Kevin Roper in New Jersey.
Fellow funnyman James ‘Jimmy Mack’ McNair was killed in the crash and Morgan is still recovering after sustaining major injuries, including a broken leg, nose and ribs.
Morgan subsequently sued Wal-Mart officials for negligence, but last month, Roper’s attorney David Glassman filed a motion to have the lawsuit put on hold until Roper’s criminal case in New Jersey has concluded.
Roper – who is not named as a defendant – and Glassman did not want accusations about his alleged actions to impact on his ongoing criminal case relating to the crash.
Morgan’s lawyers challenged the motion on Monday, blaming Wal-Mart chiefs for the move, insisting the request is just a tactic used by the defendants to reportedly avoid disclosing their safety practices, but the company’s bosses have denied the claims.
On Friday, District Court Judge Michael Shipp refused to delay the lawsuit, contesting that Roper failed to show he requires “emergent relief”, therefore the federal case will go on as planned.
Roper, who was accused of being sleep deprived at the time of the collision, pleaded not guilty to one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto earlier this year.
Two other passengers in Morgan’s car were also left seriously injured in the accident.