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Riot Room building owner files lawsuit regarding deadly KCFD crash in Westport

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Posted at 11:48 AM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 20:28:46-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The owner of the commercial building that housed the Riot Room has filed a lawsuit against the city of Kansas City, Missouri, and the driver of a KCFD pumper truck, which was involved in a deadly crash Dec. 15 in Westport.

Broadway-Westport Property Inc., represented by Paul Casetta, filed the lawsuit Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court, claiming the impact from the crash caused “major structural damage and a partial collapse of the building.”

The lawsuit, which alleges the property sustained more than $850,000 in damage, comes more than three months after a KCFD pumper truck was involved in a crash with an SUV near the intersection of Broadway Boulevard and Westport Road.

Three people were killed a result of the crash. Jennifer San Nicolas, who was driving the SUV, and passenger Michael Elwood were killed along with Tami Knight, a pedestrian on a nearby sidewalk.

Since the crash, the families of all three victims have filed wrongful death lawsuits.

RELATED | Westport community mourns the loss of victims from Wednesday night's deadly crash

The latest lawsuit accuses KCFD Pumper No. 19's driver of negligence and failing "to exercise the highest degree of care in operating Pumper 19.”

KSHB 41 is choosing not to name the driver, pending the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Office’s review of the case.

The lawsuit also accuses the city of being “vicariously liable” for the driver’s negligence, claiming KCFD “owed a duty to the general public” to “exercise reasonable care in hiring, training, supervising, and entrusting” the driver of Pumper 19.

According to the lawsuit, the owner of the building is seeking a jury trial and is requesting “this Court award a judgment against City of Kansas City for the damages described herein, together with costs, attorneys’ fees and expenses, pre- and post- judgment interest, and any other relief this Court deems just and proper.”

The I-Team reached out to the city and fire department for comment.

The fire department referred the I-Team to the city. The city did not respond on Monday.

We will update this story if and when we hear back.

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