Pilot only Survivor of Comair Flight 5191 (2006)

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Pilot only Survivor of Comair Flight 5191 (2006)

Post by planeanxiety » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:44 pm

The only survivor of Comair Flight 5191 James Polehinke, the first officer, suffered serious injuries, including multiple broken bones, a collapsed lung, and severe bleeding. Lexington-Fayette and airport police officers pulled Polehinke out of the wreckage. Polehinke underwent surgery for his injuries, including an amputation of his left leg. Doctors later determined that Polehinke had suffered brain damage and has no memory of the crash or the events leading up to it. As of May 2012, Polehinke was a wheelchair user. During the same month, Polehinke filed a lawsuit against the airport and the company that designed the runway and taxi lights.

The estates or families of 21 of the 47 passengers filed lawsuits against Polehinke. In response, Polehinke's attorney, William E. Johnson, raised the possibility of contributory negligence on the part of the passengers. When asked by the plaintiffs' attorney, David Royse, what that meant, Johnson replied that they "should have been aware of the dangerous conditions that existed in that there had been considerable media coverage about the necessity of improving runway conditions at the airport." At the time Johnson submitted the contributory negligence defense, he had not yet been able to speak to Polehinke himself. By the time newspapers reported on the court documents, Johnson said he had already told Royse, who criticized the statements, that he would withdraw the argument.

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