Jackson County judge consolidates JJ's lawsuits for pretrial discovery

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A single Jackson County District Judge will oversee and make rulings on pretrial matters in the lawsuits involving the explosion and fire at JJ's restaurant. There has been no order consolidating any of the cases for actual trial.

At least eight cases have been filed since the Feb. 18 explosion on the Country Club Plaza that killed JJ's employee Megan Cramer and injured several other workers, including employees of Heartland Midwest LLC and Missouri Gas Energy (MGE).

Brad Russell is with Sanders, Warren & Russell LLP and represents Heartland Midwest LLC, the contractor that was laying fiber optic cable outside of JJ's Restaurant on behalf of Time Warner Cable Midwest when the tragedy occurred.

"If the cases are ultimately tried, the cases will then be returned to the original judge or division for trial of those specific cases," Russell said.

Consolidating the cases that are in the same jurisdiction that involve common questions of law will avoid the unnecessary cost of having employees and/or witnesses deposed multiple times.

"It's a proper manner to handle these cases efficiently," said Grant L. Davis, who is representing many of the injured JJ's workers.

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