Tracy Morgan is suing Walmart over the June 7 car accident in Middlesex County, N.J. that left him critically injured and killed a fellow comedian, James McNair, according to his publicist.
The lawsuit claims that a Walmart truck-driver, Kevin Roper, fell asleep at the wheel and caused the accident that hospitalized Morgan for weeks at Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center in New Brunswick.
Morgan, who was hospitalized after the crash for a broken leg and broken ribs, has been released from an undisclosed rehabilitation center and will continue his recovery efforts at home with an "aggressive" outpatient program, his publicist, Lewis Kay, said.
"He asked me to pass along his sincerest gratitude to everyone who has helped him get to this point," he said. "He would also appreciate some privacy during this crucial point in his recovery."
The lawsuit blames Wal-Mart, claiming the company was negligent because it did not know that their driver had been awake for over 24 hours and sent him on a 7,000-mile commute. Roper has pleaded not guilty on all charges.
"As a result of Walmart's gross, reckless, willful, wanton, and intentional conduct, it should be appropriately punished with the imposition of punitive damages," the lawsuit reads, according to The Washington Post.
Morgan filed the suit on Thursday with the US District Court in New Jersey.
Wal-Mart, in a statement released to media outlets on Saturday, said it was cooperating fully with the investigation.
The Cranbury, N.J. crash on Saturday killed McNair, 63, of Peekskill, N.Y., while two others - a 36-year-old man from Shelton, Ct. and a 43-year-old man from Jersey City - were also hospitalized at Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center, said Zenaida Mendez, spokeswoman for the hospital.
Morgan, 45, "is tremendously overwhelmed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his fans," Kay said.
Morgan's limo bus overturned last month on the New Jersey Turnpike in the early morning crash.
Roper was later charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto after the tractor-trailer he was driving crashed into the van at 1 a.m. Saturday, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office. He has pleased not-guilty to the charges.
Walmart released a statement to the media saying the department-store chain is "profoundly sorry that one of our trucks was involved" and that the company will cooperate fully with law enforcement.
A preliminary investigation determined that the tractor-trailer crashed into the van, a 2012 Mercedes Sprinter, as both vehicles traveled in the northbound lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike. Four other vehicles were involved in the crash. None of the occupants of those vehicles was injured, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.
Anyone with information is asked to call the New Jersey State Police Detective Bureau at the Troop D Station in Cranbury at 609-860-9000, extension 4400.