Society and Culture
Wal-Mart Blames Injuries From Tracy Morgan’s Crash on Lack of Seat Belts
I’ll be honest, I have never been a fan of Wal-Mart. I get the appeal of the low-cost products and everything, but I’ve never felt like any Wal-Mart I have ever been in has seemed clean or worthy of my money. I also have a huge problem with all of the lawsuits that seem to stem from Wal-Mart mistreating its employees, especially women.
Back in June there was a fatal accident involving a Wal-Mart delivery truck and a limousine party bus. The party bus was carrying comedian Tracy Morgan and his posse. One man was killed and several injured, including Morgan who was in critical condition at one point. The semi-truck driver had supposedly been awake for 24 consecutive hours and was reportedly going 20 miles per hour OVER the speed limit.
Naturally after all is said and done, Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart because of the accident. I would too if I were him, but he had to see the blame game coming.
Good ol’ Wal-Mart has come out in the last several days to say that because Morgan and the other passengers were not wearing seat belts they are to blame for their injuries. Well Wal-Mart, if that’s the only defense you have then you certainly are scraping the bottom of the barrel. But it is actually a good defense — that’s why the Wal-Mart lawyers get paid the big bucks. I want to be a lawyer, but I could never imagine taking a job for Wal-Mart no matter how much it offered to pay me. With the amount of shitty lawsuits that that company has to deal with I would probably end up retiring early and forced into the nut house. I could never work for a company that has zero respect for anyone, even its own employees.
As for the truck driver, he may have been under some pressure to get his shipment out quickly and maybe was told to overlook the trucking industry regulations because Wal-Mart needs its shelves fully stocked at all times. But then again, does a Wal-Mart-employed truck driver have a different set of rules then what OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires? Have the great slimy lawyers of Wal-Mart found a loop hole? Don’t get me wrong, I love lawyers — I want to be one. But the idea of what Wal-Mart has gotten away with because of its lawyers rubs me the wrong way!
Should Morgan have had his seat belt on while whooping it up in the party bus? Uhm, maybe. Are there even seat belts on a party bus? I’m sure there are, but they are probably so neglected that they have been tucked under the seats by so many people and forgotten. When I think of a party bus I think of a safe driver who creates a safe atmosphere in the bus so that passengers don’t have to think about safety or even seat belts. That’s the purpose of hiring a driver, so you can have fun and be safe with a sober, capable, licensed driver.
Wal-Mart said the injuries were “caused, in whole or in part, by the plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seat belt restraint device.” The company said that by not using seat belts, the plaintiffs “acted unreasonably and in disregard of plaintiffs’ own best interests.” I’m sorry, WHAT!?! YOUR DRIVER had been awake for 24 consecutive hours and YOUR DRIVER was going 20 mph OVER the speed limit! Your driver “acted unreasonably and in disregard” of his own life and the lives of any other motorists on the highway!
If you look at the pictures from the crash you can see that even if Morgan and his friends had their seat belts on there was enough damage done that it still would have caused injuries. Seat belts are great but just because you are strapped into a chair does not mean that you will not be harmed or even killed.
So to those dear Wal-Mart lawyers, you should reconsider allowing your client to blame Tracy Morgan’s injuries on the fact that he was not wearing his seat belt because I just gave a better defense. Would a judge side with me? Who knows. I’m no lawyer, yet! But if you are any good at your job you would have seen both sides of the coin before allowing a statement to be released blaming someone for injuries that were incurred because of an accident one of YOUR EMPLOYEES caused!
Shame on you Wal-Mart, shame on you!
Allison Dawson (@AllyD528) Born in Germany, raised in Mississippi and Texas. Graduate of Texas Tech University and Arizona State University. Currently dedicating her life to studying for the LSAT. Twitter junkie. Conservative.