Court Official: Trial off in Kentucky Comair Crash

August 4, 2008

A federal judge called off a trial Aug. 1 to hear lawsuits stemming from a 2006 plane crash that killed 49 people in Kentucky after family members and the airline reached settlements in most of the cases.

Mark Armstrong, chief deputy clerk for U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, confirmed the Aug. 4 trial was canceled. Details of the settlements have not been released.

The lawsuits claimed Comair was negligent because its pilots steered the plane in the pre-dawn darkness to the wrong runway, one that was too short for a proper takeoff. The jet hit trees and a perimeter fence before crashing in a farm next to Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport.

Anita Threet, whose husband, Greg, was among those killed, said she had hoped the trial would be avoided. Still, she had planned to attend next week, even though she settled her own claim weeks ago.

“I kind of feel like now maybe I can put this part behind me, enjoy my children and put the pieces back together,” Threet said. “I’ve been so busy dealing with the legal part of it, it’s almost like I feel I’m finally taking a breath.”

Families for the two crew members who died in the crash as well as the lone survivor, co-pilot James Polehinke, had filed their own suits against the federal government and other parties, but not against Comair. Those cases also haven’t been resolved, said Susan Baker, a court clerk handling the case.

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