My message to Wal-Mart, “Take Responsibility and do the right thing!”

In an article in the Associated Press yesterday, Tracy Morgan said he “can’t believe” Wal-Mart’s assertion that he and others were partly to blame for their injuries in the accident involving a Wal-Mart truck and Morgan’s limousine on the New Jersey Turnpike, the same accident that killed a friend of his riding with him.

David Porter wrote the AP article which included a statement released by Morgan’s publicist.

Brooke Buchanan, spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, issued a statement Tuesday, stating the company filed the response as legally required “…that included facts and defenses that may impact the case moving forward.”

The Complete article will be shared on

Now, having said this brief bit from the AP article, I am sure that Tracy Morgan is shocked by the swift turn that has taken place.  Not only has the truck driver taken away more than a month of Morgan’s life with hospitalization, and numerous months and continuous rehab for the injuries sustained, but now the Company, Wal-Mart, is saying that Morgan and his entourage were not buckled up in the limousine.

Kevin Roper, the trucker from Jonesboro, Georgia who drove for Wal-Mart that night and did not sleep for more than 24 hours on the night he crashed into Morgan’s limousine, which was clearly a violation of New Jersey law, has plead not guilty to death by auto and other charges.

Here’s my question, “Wal-Mart, why can’t you admit your wrongdoing in this by taking the corporate responsibility that you initially said you would take and do the right thing?  Why is it so hard for you to do the right thing than to do the cheapest thing?”

Hi, Wal-Mart, Roper drove for you, and violated the law.  Surely dispatchers were aware or made known about Roper’s disposition, and should have taken responsibility for it.  Roper slammed into Tracey Morgan’s limousine as Morgan’s limo driver obeyed the law, as he or she was required to do under the law.  Roper and Wal-Mart, both parties that night because Wal-Mart’s freight and trailer were right there on the scene, violated the law and labor laws requiring rest for exhausted drivers.  So let me ask S. Robson Walton, son of the Founder of Wal-Mart, why the company his Father built back in the day and did the right thing is no longer doing the right thing?  Yes, I am asking him this very question through this medium, and I will practically guarantee you that he won’t see this, because he and his family are well insulated by corporate lackeys who want nothing better than a big fat corporate bottom line.

The Bottom Line from me is, Wal-Mart needs to do the right thing and take responsibility.  And to do so, they need to amend the filing and expeditiously settle with Morgan for what he needs and has costs for already, plus pain and suffering and future expenses.  Then, Mr. Walton, find those who started this mess to begin with by allowing Roper to drive that far and without sleep, seize their benefits and profit-sharing, turn them over to prosecutors, and then make the kind of positive changes that will make the company stronger after this by taking more responsibility and being accountable.

In short, Mr. Walton, Make Wal-Mart take responsibility for the mistakes and learn and grow from them.