Federal judge rejects bid to delay lawsuit brought by Tracy Morgan over fatal New Jersey crash

Associated Press

A federal judge has refused to delay a lawsuit brought by Tracy Morgan stemming from a fatal crash in New Jersey.

The ruling issued late Friday afternoon came on a motion by Kevin Roper, the driver of the Wal-Mart truck authorities say slammed into the back of Morgan's limo van on the New Jersey Turnpike in June.

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Roper, of Georgia, isn't named as a defendant but is facing criminal charges. He wanted the suit delayed until his criminal case was resolved.

But U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp said Roper failed to show he requires "emergent relief."

Attorneys for the plaintiffs had argued that Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart was using Roper's motion to stall the suit because it wanted to avoid disclosing safety practices.

A message was left Friday evening for Roper's lawyer. A call to Wal-Mart seeking comment was not immediately returned.