KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New developments surrounding the wrongful death lawsuits filed in the Westport crash involving a fire truck that left three people dead. The lawsuits are being consolidated in one Jackson County courtroom.
Judge John Torrence said Wednesday at a case management conference, he would grant the motion to consolidate a handful of lawsuits surrounding the same crash.
At this point these cases have only been consolidated for discovery. Later, the court will decide if these cases will be consolidated for trial, as well.
“Part of court efficiency,” attorney for the Elwood Family, Tim Dollar, said.
Dollar is representing the Elwood family. Their son, Michael, was killed.
In the lawsuit, Elwood’s parents named the city, the Kansas City Fire Department and the driver of the pumper truck.
On Dec. 15, 2021, a pumper collided with an SUV near Broadway Ave. and Westport Road. The force of the crash sent the vehicles into a Westport building that collapsed.
Elwood, the driver of the SUV he was in and a pedestrian died.
“From the very beginning, they have wanted accountability, that’s what the civil justice system offers,” Dollar said, “and then fair and reasonable compensation for tragic losses that really no one can put a price on.”
The lawsuit from Elwood’s family said the fire truck had been told to stand down from a call and to remain in quarters, but ran a red light.
“These all involve the same set of circumstances in terms of our allegations against the city of what they did wrong and what the circumstances were that led up to these tragic events,” Dollar said. “Then, of course, everybody will have their individual harms and losses they’ve suffered from all the other families that were affected.”
The lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of the firetruck’s driver, and on the part of the department for failing to properly train the driver.
A spokesperson with the city said they’re not commenting on the lawsuit. The attorney for the fire department has not responded.
A trial date has been set for June 5, 2023.
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