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3rd wrongful death lawsuit filed in connection to KCFD Westport crash

Posted at 3:02 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 20:16:38-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The family of Jennifer San Nicolas has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Kansas City, Missouri, and the driver of the fire department pumper truck.

It’s the third wrongful death lawsuit filed in connection to the Westport crash from December. The lawsuit was filed in Jackson County Circuit Court on Monday. The family is represented by attorney David Smith.

Three people were killed, including San Nicolas, who was the driver of the SUV. Michael Elwood, a passenger in the SUV, and Tami Knight, a pedestrian, also died.

While the three lawsuits are similar, this is the first one that mentions the city was “negligent by creating and maintaining the intersection of Westport Road and Broadway in Kansas City, Missouri, in a dangerous condition.”

The lawsuit alleges the intersection had “dangerous blind spots” and “inadequate signage.”

The third lawsuit comes almost two months after a KCFD pumper truck collided with an SUV near the intersection of Broadway Boulevard and Westport Road. A brick building partially collapsed because of the crash.

The lawsuit accuses the driver of the pumper truck of failing “to exercise the highest degree of care in the operation of his vehicle, and failed to conduct himself in a careful, prudent and lawful manner.”

The KSHB 41 I-Team is not naming the driver at this time, pending the police department’s investigation.

KCPD said the case file has not been turned over to the prosecutor’s office yet.

The lawsuit also alleges the city and fire department “are vicariously liable” for the driver’s negligence.

San Nicolas’ mother, Peggy Ross, shared a statement with the KSHB 41 I-Team on Monday.

“Jen had such a beautiful, loving, artistic soul. She was fiercely loyal to her family, friends, and fur babies. The void left in the lives of those who loved her is an all consuming black hole," she said.

According to the lawsuit, the family “requests judgment against Defendants, jointly and severally, for actual damages that a jury determines to be fair and reasonable, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs, and for all other proper relief.

The family is seeking a jury trial.

The city has not responded to a request for comment.

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