As the four-year anniversary of a commercial aviation accident near Buffalo, New York, approaches, several wrongful death lawsuits are still working their way through federal court in regard to the crash, which took place in wintry weather. Continental Flight 3407 crashed in February 2009, killing all 49 people on board and one person on the ground.
Most of the cases have been settled already. Of the 42 total cases, 29 have settled their claims. The other 13 plaintiffs are still in mediation in an attempt to settle their cases. None of the parties has disclosed any settlement amounts.
There are several parties named in the suits: Continental Airlines; Colgan Air, which operated the flight; Pinnacle Airlines, the parent company of Colgan; Bombardier, which manufactured the airplane; and FlightSafety International, the company responsible for training the pilots.
The flight took off from Newark, New Jersey, en route to Buffalo. Colgan Air, which operated the flight, ceased operations in 2012. Reports from the National Transportation Safety Board have shown that the captain had a checkered history of passing flight checks.
As a 2010 analysis in Flying magazine discussed, the captain passed these checks when they were redone, perhaps demonstrating the potential for making mistakes under pressure but doing fine under normal circumstances.
Commercial aviation accidents can have any number of causes. Survivors of such accidents, or the families of the victims of these accidents, often find it helpful to consult with attorneys experienced in dealing with accidents involving commercial aircraft.
Source: Associated Press, "4 Years After 50 Die In Flight 3407, 13 Lawsuits Still Pending," Jan. 16, 2013