BUFFALO, N.Y. (CN) - Relatives of a passenger killed when a Continental commuter plane crashed into a house outside Buffalo have sued the airline and the flight's operators in Federal Court, claiming the plane had ineffective de-icing equipment and an improperly trained crew. It appears to be the first lawsuit since the Feb. 12 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407.
The family of crash victim Susan Wehle of Amherst, N.Y., has also sued Bombardier, the plane's manufacturer, claiming there were dangerous defects in the pilot's operating manual, the flight control systems and the de-icing system.
The family says the defendants should have known about the defects and not dispatched the plane in icy conditions. The lawsuit alleges there were no maintenance manuals or procedures, and the defendants gave inadequate warnings and instructions for how to handle such dangers.
The plaintiffs say the passengers suffered fright and terror before the plane plummeted into a house in Clarence, N.Y.
"For a measurable period of time, the aircraft flew out of control, violently moved in unexpected directions, dived, rolled, inverted, and subjected the passengers and contents to unusual g-forces, all of which resulted in bodily injuries, pain and suffering," the complaint states.
The family alleges negligence, wrongful death and strict liability, and seeks unspecified damages.
Pinnacle Airlines and Colgan Air were also named as defendants.
The plaintiffs are represented by Francis Rivette Jr. with Rivette & Rivette and John Graves with Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman in Los Angeles.
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