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Settlements Reached in Final Federal Court Continental Connection Flight 3407 Air Crash Cases

The remaining eight federal court lawsuits involving families who lost loved ones in the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 near Buffalo, New York, were settled just weeks before a trial was set to begin in federal court.Clifford Law Offices represented families who lost loved ones in five of those lawsuits, who were among the 49 people killed when the Colgan aircraft crashed in Clarence Center near Buffalo on Feb. 12, 2009.  The cases settled April 2, 2014, for confidential amounts.The five cases were among eight that remained when a mediation effort led by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthey settled the matters in early April.  Robert A. Clifford, senior partner and one of the leading attorneys in the litigation, has been most outspoken about the secrecy that surrounded the litigation in relation to many of the “under seal” motions filed by the defendant airlines in the consolidated cases.  The Defendants made extensive filings “under seal.”  The excessive use of the “under seal” designation would have become one of the major areas of contention had the cases not been resolved.In particular, the so-called Sabatini Report was filed under seal; the report dealt with the post-crash study of the corporate culture at Colgan Air which was the entity that operated Continental Connection Flight 3407.The aircraft was owned and operated by Colgan but flew under the Continental connection banner.  Since the crash five years ago, Continental has merged with United Airlines.Although nothing can ever bring back the families’ loved ones or even bring closure in such a horrific event, they perhaps can take some solace in their voicing their concerns over the years about the differences in training and procedures in regional airlines compared to those of the major carriers as well as the.  The regional carriers who fly the smaller aircraft in smaller markets should be required to pay the same amount of attention to safety as much as the large carriers who fly the larger aircraft.  The efforts of the collective will of the families of Flight 3407 has resulted in changes within the industry, regarding pilot fatigue, stall training, pilot monitoring, and other safety procedures.

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