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KCMO City Council votes to offer $1.8M to resolve lawsuits in deadly Westport crash

westport crash
Posted at 4:31 PM, Nov 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-10 20:32:34-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council voted 10-0 Thursday in an attempt to resolve four civil lawsuits connected to last December’s deadly crash in Westport involving a Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department pumper truck.

The council approved the resolution that seeks to resolve the lawsuits at a price tag of $1.84 million.

Three wrongful death lawsuits were filed by the victims killed in the crash. A fourth lawsuit was filed by the property owner of a building that suffered a partial collapse after the fire truck crashed into it. 

The amount in the ordinance is the same amount of the state's sovereign immunity limit of $459,893 after it is multiplied by four. Sovereign immunity limits are, generally speaking, a cap on amounts government entities pay in liability cases.

Earlier this fall, the four plaintiffs and the the driver of the pumper truck, Dominic Biscari, entered into a binding agreement with an independent arbitrator in the case.

Earlier this month, a Jackson County District Court judge confirmed the arbitration award of $32.4 million.

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.

This is a developing story and will be updated.