Federal Judge Rules Families Able To Sue Comair For Negligence Over Fatal Crash

A federal judge has ruled that families of the victims of the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington, Kentucky are allowed to seek punitive damages from the airline.

The ruling was made public on June 9 and will allow attorneys to present evidence of gross negligence on the part of Comair. In the trial scheduled for August 4, attorneys for the plaintiffs will ask that jurors punish Comair for their alleged failure to take actions that the plaintiffs claim might have prevented the crash which took place on August 27, 2006. In that crash, 49 of the 50 people on the plane were killed.

The crash was caused by Flight 5191 taking off from the incorrect runway, which was not lit in the early morning dark and was far too short in length for a regional jet.

According to David Royse, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, the judge’s decision was a major legal victory.

It was also ruled by U.S. District Judge Karl Forester that Comair could be sued for punitive damages for the gross negligence of James Polehinke and Jeffrey Clay, the pilots of Flight 5191. Polehinke, the only survivor of the crash, is also a defendant in the suit.
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