Time Warner mostly responsible for fatal blast at JJ’s, jury decides

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A jury says Time Warner Cable is largely responsible for a fatal natural gas explosion that leveled an upscale Kansas City restaurant.

Jurors returned the verdict Thursday in lawsuit stemming from the February 2013 blast at JJ's restaurant near the city's Country Club Plaza shopping and entertainment district.

The brothers who operated the restaurant, David and Jimmy Frantze, wanted more than $9 million in damages from Time Warner and USIC Locating Services, which contracts with utility companies.

Jurors ordered Time Warner to pay $5.78 million, but found USIC wasn't liable.

The explosion occurred after a crew for cable company subcontractor Heartland Midwest breached a natural-gas supply line with an underground borer. Fumes from that leak filled the building and ignited, killing restaurant worker Megan Cramer and injuring dozens of others.

Megan Cramer, killed in the JJ's explosion in 2013

Megan Cramer, killed in the JJ's explosion in 2013

Click here for past reports on JJ's explosion.