Freeman has until July 6 to respond to lawsuit

Published 12:52 am Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Attorneys for Morgan Freeman have until July 6 to respond to a lawsuit filed by the woman who was with the actor the night of a car crash last August.

Demaris Meyer has sued Freeman for negligence. The lawsuit against the 71-year-old actor was filed in U.S. District Court in Oxford in February.

Both Meyer and Freeman were injured in the crash.

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Meyer, who lives in Memphis, Tenn., is suing for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent disability and property damage. The lawsuit does not specify an amount of damages sought by Meyer.

Freeman has not commented. His attorneys have also declined to comment.

Freeman and Meyer were traveling on a dark, two-lane highway that cuts through farmlands of the Mississippi Delta when the car ran off the side of the road, authorities said last August. The vehicle flipped several times but landed upright in a ditch about 5 miles west of Charleston, where Freeman lives.

The lawsuit claims Freeman failed to keep a proper lookout, maintain attention, keep the vehicle under control and obey the posted speed limit.

In the days after the accident, Freeman’s lawyer, Bill Luckett, told media outlets that Freeman and his wife of 24 years, Myrna Colley-Lee, had been separated since December 2007 and were getting a divorce.

Meyer, 48, later said she met Freeman the night of the accident at a dinner party that she had been invited to by Luckett. Meyer said Freeman had been a “perfect gentleman” that evening and agreed to let her stay at one of three houses on his property, so that she “would have an easier drive to work the next morning.”

The accident allegedly occurred when Freeman was driving Meyer’s car with Meyer in the passenger seat from Luckett’s home in Clarksdale to Freeman’s property in Charleston, some 40 miles away.

The accident left the actor with a broken arm, broken elbow and shoulder damage. Meyer’s injuries included a broken left wrist and right scapula.

Freeman, who won an Oscar for his performance in 2004’s “Million Dollar Baby,” and co-starred in last summer’s “The Dark Knight” has recovered. His screen credits also include “Bruce Almighty,” “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Driving Miss Daisy.”