*Tracy Morgan has been ordered to comply with a subpoena and submit records regarding his health, earnings and public appearances to insurers who believe his car crash settlement with Walmart is too high.
The former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” star suffered life-threatening injuries on July 7, 2014, when a Walmart truck driver crashed into his limo on the New Jersey Turnpike. Morgan and others injured filed a negligence lawsuit against Walmart, and the cases were eventually settled with Morgan and fellow comedian Ardie Fuqua receiving at least $90 million, according to calculations from The Hollywood Reporter based on court documents.
But now…Ohio Casualty Insurance Company and Liberty Insurance Underwriters are challenging whether they are obligated to fund what they consider to be an “exorbitant settlement,” reports THR.
According to their court filings, Walmart reacted to bad press by rashly settling with Morgan instead of taking time to conduct a thorough investigation of his injuries and career prospects. The insurers pointed out how Morgan, after settling, hosted “Saturday Night Live” and made other TV appearances including “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Tonight Show.”
Meanwhile, Walmart has asserted counterclaims, defending its “extraordinary efforts” to keep insurers in the loop and talking about its exposure to bad press after the company notoriously asserted a seat belt defense.
The parties are currently in discovery mode, with insurers demanding to know how much Morgan made five years prior to the accident. They also want tax returns, settlement communications with Walmart, independent medical exams, and “documents generated after the settlement that refer or relate to his appearing on national television shortly after the settlement, driving a Lamborghini in midtown Manhattan shortly after the settlement, Tracy’s Morgan’s ability to walk around midtown New York shortly after the settlement and his appearing at the Emmy Awards to make a presentation.”
Morgan has been given 20 days to produce responsive documents.