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March 22, 2013

Suit filed in JJ’s explosion

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of six workers injured in last month’s explosion at JJ’s restaurant.

A lawsuit was filed Friday on behalf of six employees of the Plaza area restaurant destroyed by a natural gas explosion last month.

Attorney Grant L. Davis filed the suit in Jackson County Circuit Court against Missouri Gas Energy and four other companies connected to the cable installation project that led to a gas line being severed.

An ensuing explosion at JJ’s Restaurant, 910 W. 48th Street, injured all six of the employees who filed suit and killed a restaurant server, Megan Cramer.

The suit alleges that after the gas line was cut, gas company employees told people that it was safe to remain in the area.

Besides the utility, the names as defendants: Heartland Midwest; Time Warner Cable; Missouri One Call System; and USIC Locating Services.

According to the suit, Time Warner had contracted with Heartland to do excavation work near the restaurant.

Through Missouri One, Heartland notified MGE and other utilities that it would be drilling to install cable or fiber optic lines, according to the suit. Before the work began, USIC marked the area to indicate the location and the depth of any gas lines, according to the allegations.

A combination of “erroneous markings” and miscommunication between the entities led to a line being cut and the subsequent blast, the suit alleges.

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