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Judge confirms $32.4M arbitration award to victims of deadly Westport crash

Westport Crash.png
Posted at 1:18 PM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 20:18:51-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A judge confirmed a $32.4 million arbitration award in a civil lawsuit over the wrongful deaths of three people in a crash involving a Kansas City, Missouri, Fire department pumper truck.

In the final judgment and order filed on November 1, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Phillips also entered a judgment against Dominic Biscari, a KCFD firefighter and the driver of the pumper truck.

In court documents from almost two weeks ago, an arbitrator said Biscari was negligent and "directly caused" the Westport crash that killed three people, injured another, and damaged a building on Dec. 15, 2021.

The crash involved a KCFD pumper truck and an SUV at the Westport intersection of Westport Road and Broadway Boulevard.

The arbitration award includes $29 million to the families of Michael Elwood, Jennifer San Nicolas, and Tami Knight. Each filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Biscari, the city, and the fire department.

Knight's boyfriend who was walking with her the night of the crash will be awarded $2 million. The owners of the building that was damaged by the crash are expected to receive $1.4 million.

The arbitration award comes after the plaintiffs entered into a binding arbitration agreement with Biscari. Both parties appointed Hon. Miles Sweeney to be the arbitrator.

On Oct. 7, Sweeney presided over a full evidentiary hearing. It included witness testimony, evidence and arguments from each side.

Sweeney then recommended the arbitration award of $32.4 million.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs did not have a comment about the judge confirming the arbitration award.

The I-Team reached out to Biscari's attorney, the city, and the fire department. Since there's still pending litigation, the city and fire department said they cannot comment.

We will update this story if we receive a response.