Family of comedian killed in Tracy Morgan crash reaches settlement with Wal-Mart

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The family of a comedian killed in an auto accident that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan has reached a settlement with Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the family's attorney said on Wednesday.

The out-of-court settlement is the first legal resolution from the New Jersey big-rig crash that killed comedian James McNair and seriously injured Morgan on June 7 last year.

McNair, 62, who performed under the name Jimmy Mack, died at the scene after a Wal-Mart truck rear-ended a limousine bus carrying McNair, Morgan and others returning from a comedy performance in Delaware.

Terms of the settlement were confidential, McNair family attorney Daryl Zaslow said.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, did not admit liability in the settlement, he added.

He said McNair's family was ready to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the company if they were unable to reach a settlement. "We know there is nothing we can do to change what happened to Mr McNair, but Wal-Mart and his family have worked closely together to reach an agreement," the company said in a statement. "Wal-Mart will continue to work to conclude all of the remaining issues and we're committed to doing what's right."

Morgan and three others have sued Wal-Mart in New Jersey federal court alleging the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company was negligent in connection to the crash.

Morgan's attorney has said the comedian suffered a brain injury and several broken bones in the crash.

Truck driver Kevin Roper has pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault-by-auto. Federal investigators have said he was driving some 32km per hour more than the speed limit just before the crash.

Wal-Mart has said in a court filing that Morgan and other passengers were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

Morgan's injuries have put his career on hold and caused American cable network FXX to pause a planned comedy series with the comedian.