Tracy Morgan, the former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” star, suffered a traumatic brain injury, in addition to several other injuries, in a June 7 car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike, Morgan’s lawyer, Benedict Morelli, confirmed to msnbc on Tuesday.
Morelli did not go into the specifics of Morgan’s status, but he told msnbc that the actor’s condition is very serious. “The story with Tracy is – at the beginning, when reports came out, they had a lot of misinformation. The first thing thing that happened is that they reported that he died. Then they reported that he had lost his leg. The truth is that he actually had a very bad traumatic brain injury,” Morelli said.
“Many many people really thought ‘Well, he broke his leg … it’s not that serious,’” Morelli added. ”It was much more serious than anyone really knew. When that came out I think everyone was very shocked.”
The crash occurred when a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer slammed into a limo bus carrying Morgan and several others on the way back from a show in Delaware. Morgan’s friend and fellow comedian James McNair was killed and others were injured in the incident.
Morgan has since launched legal battle against the retail giant, alleging the truck’s driver, Kevin Roper, was awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the crash. The lawsuit also alleges he was asleep at the wheel.
“Upon information and belief, plaintiffs’ injuries, if any, were caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seat belt restraint device,” Wal-Mart said, according to court papers made public in September.
“By failing to exercise ordinary care in making use of available seat belts, upon information and belief, plaintiffs acted unreasonably and in disregard of plaintiffs’ own best interests,” they added.
Morgan fired back in a statement, saying, “I can’t believe Wal-Mart is blaming me for an accident that they caused.”
On Tuesday, lawyers appeared in a New Jersey courtroom to set a date for a conference for Morgan’s suit.
“If you’ve ever seen any photos of the vehicle they were riding in … you can understand that they’re lucky they they’re alive,” Morelli told msnbc.
As to whether or not Morgan will ever make a full recovery, Morelli says only time will tell. “I don’t know and neither do the [doctors.] He is improved, there’s no question, but that’s where we are. He’s a fighter. He’s fighting every single say to get better and trying to live his life under the circumstances”
Still, in a statement to the Associated Press, Morelli said it is unlikely that the comedian will ever be “the Tracy Morgan he once was.”