Aug. 10--Attorneys for Comair said in court yesterday that the airline will sue the federal government for its role in the fatal crash of Flight 5191 at Blue Grass Airport.
The announcement, which was expected, means that 18 wrongful-death lawsuits against the airline that are pending in Fayette Circuit Court will be moved to U.S. District Court in Lexington, where several other lawsuits are pending. At least 39 families have sued Comair in venues across the country; nine lawsuits have been settled, said spokeswoman Kate Marx.
Forty-nine of the 50 people aboard Flight 5191 died Aug. 27 after the regional jet took off from the wrong runway.
Marx declined to say whether Comair will sue any other parties on Monday, the judicially imposed deadline for it to bring other defendants into the lawsuits. Last week, a Lexington judge threw out Comair's claims against the airport, saying it was entitled to sovereign immunity.
Comair and attorneys for families of the victims were originally supposed to discuss scheduling for the case yesterday in Fayette Circuit Court. But the airline's announcement that it was going to sue the federal government rendered the issues moot.
Comair sued the Federal Aviation Administration last year. But Comair withdrew the lawsuit because it had not exhausted its administrative claim with the FAA. The claim has since been denied.
The airline says the FAA shares blame in the accident because it had understaffed the airport control tower. The FAA has said it does not think it was negligent in the crash.
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