One Year Later, Still No Final Chapter In JJ's Blast

Feb 19, 2014

Lawsuits and appeals plague the aftermath of the deadly explosion of JJ's restaurant on Country Club Plaza in midtown Kansas City.
Lawsuits and appeals plague the aftermath of the deadly explosion of JJ's restaurant on Country Club Plaza in midtown Kansas City.
Credit Elana Gordon / KCUR

One year has passed since the explosion and fire at JJ's restaurant killed waitress Megan Cramer and injured 15 on the edge of Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo.

Investigators have found fault in the blast, but legal action continues. Ten lawsuits are on file by people legally claiming damage in the natural gas explosion. Suits are not expected to go to trial for more than a year.

The gas company, MGE, still has two weeks to appeal the ruling from the Missouri Public Service Commission that they failed to act urgently to protect the lives of people in JJ's.

Chief staff lawyer for the Commission Kevin Thompson said MGE didn’t follow its own emergency plan that night.

“That plan included acting to save life and notifying people of the hazard, once they had determined a hazard existed and what the extent of the hazard was,” said Thompson. 

MGE has said it will challenge the finding so there might be a trial-like hearing. The wounded are still healing, and nearby damaged buildings are still vacant.