FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2009, Continental Airlines Flight 3407 operated by Manassas, Va.-based Colgan Air, plane burns after it crashed into a house in Clarence Center, N.Y. Safety experts say airline travel has become so safe in the United States it�shard to justify imposing costly new safety rules on the economically fragile industry. It�s been 43 months since the last deadly domestic airline crash, on Feb. 12, 2009. That�s the longest period without a fatal accident since commercial aviation exp
Hearing in Final Flight 3407 Lawsuit
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) A judge will hold what's called a Frye hearing in the last of the Flight 3407 lawsuits. This will determine if scientific evidence can be introduced when the jury is selected.
"The hearing in this particular instance, is whether the victim had conscious pain and suffering after the plane crashed into his house," says Attorney Steve Boyd, referring to Doug Wielinski, the only one killed on the ground in the 2009 crash. "I think some of the evidence that will be reviewed by the judge will determine if this is good evidence the jury can hear."
Boyd suspects the real question is if all the evidence was reviewed by the medical examiner who determined cause and time of death. He says the ruling could decide if a jury eventually can award a penalty for conscious pain and suffering. "In the wrongful death arena, the wrongful death is the monetary loss, the conscious pain and suffering is the amount of suffering the person endured before he actually died," explains Boyd. "The evidence I believe the judge will hear is whether this gentleman sustained conscious pain and suffering. What he'll look for is what evidence was reviewed and not reviewed in the medical examiner's room."
Boyd says to put a dollar amount on that is something the jury would decide. Continental Airlines is trying to knock the conscious pain and suffering part "because they would rather have the jury come back and not decide how much money to compensate the family in a fair and compensatory way."