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Continental Airlines

Continental Airlines runway accident lawsuit filed by passengers  Jan 15, 2009

Two passengers injured last month when a Continental Airlines flight from Colorado to Houston crashed during takeoff, have filed what is believed to be the first lawsuit involving the runway accident.

Continental Airlines Flight 1404 veered off of the runway and into a ravine at Denver International Airport on December 20, 2008, in what was the only major airplane accident involving a U.S. airline in the past two years.

All 110 passengers and 4 crew members escaped alive from the airplane before it caught fire from a ruptured fuel tank on the right wing, but at least 37 people reported suffering an injury in the crash.

While the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still investigating what caused the airplane crash, a lawsuit was filed against Continental Airlines and two pilots on January 12, 2009, in Texas state court in Harris County.

The airline accident lawsuit was file by Texas women, Melissa Craft, 25, and Emily Pellegrini, 21, who allege negligence caused the aborted takeoff, possibly due to a combination of pilot error and mechanical fault.

According to the Houston Chronical, Craft suffered a back injury and emotional trauma in the airplane crash, as well as lost property such as jewelry and ski equipment. Pellerini suffered emotional trauma as a result of her inability to open her seatbelt following the crash, and a subsequent slip and fall injury caused by jet fuel that had leaked from a ruptured tank.

Continental Airlines has indicated that the lawsuits are premature, as the reason for the crash is still being investigated.

According to a report published by USA Today on Monday, because there were no fatalities in the Continental airplane runway crash, last year was the second year in a row in which no airline passengers died in an accident.

Only four years since 1958 have not involved any U.S. airline passenger deaths, and 2007 and 2008 were two of them.

Continental Airlines runway accident lawsuit filed by passengers
Photograph by David Zalubowski AP

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