A state appeals court says a Milwaukee electrical parts manufacturer bears $98 million worth of the responsibility for a power plant explosion in Jackson County. Kansas City Power and Light had claimed Rockwell Automation of Milwaukee made safety equipment which failed, leading to the explosion in 1999 that badly damaged KCP&L’s Hawthorn plant. The original jury in the case set Rockwell’s liability at $135 million, but the judge said a pre-existing contract capped the damage at $191,000. The three-judge appeals panel says the contract does not apply and has put the Rockwell liability at $98 million. The power plant has been restored to service.
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