Lawsuit Filed By Co-Pilot of Flight 5191

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - The lone survivor of a plane crash in Lexington that killed 49 people after taking off from the wrong runway has sued the company that designed the runway and taxiway lights at Blue Grass Airport.

James Polehinke filed suit in Fayette Circuit Court against AVCON Incorporated on Friday, three days before the one-year anniversary of the crash.

The lawsuit says AVCON Incorporated was responsible for runway lighting at the airport that was erratic, haphazard and-or improper.

Calls today by The Associated Press to AVCON and Polehinke's lawyer, Bruce Brandon, were not immediately returned.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by William Location: Philadelphia on Feb 9, 2008 at 02:08 PM
    First, this man is seriously disabled and if he is entitled to damages then his insurance company is going to force him to file suit. Second, when you file a suit, it does not mean that you will win. Our legal system has huge filter (called summary judgment) that prevents lawsuits from moving forward unless they have merit. You must have faith in this process. This type of accident is very hard to avoid. There was no single cause here. There were a series of seemingly minor infractions when combined resulted in tragedy. The human factors that led to this accident are with each of us everyday, as we talk on our cell phones while driving, or take other little risks that can suddenly turn to tragedy. We must be reminded each day that life is fragile and situations like this make very deep impressions that are ephemeral at best. May God bless all involved and protect our souls and give us understanding and hope to understand this tragic accident.
  • by Jamie on Aug 30, 2007 at 06:04 AM
    This is just really funny. It is because of people like him, that I will NEVER fly again for fear that the pilot of the plane will act incompetenetly and kill me too. I knew people on that plane, and I know how badly everyone is hurting because of those who left us that day. What is his problem? He is still alive, he is here to be with his family, his family doesn't have to feel his absence everyday, or during the holidays, because he is still alive. The investigation have PROVED that it was the pilots own error that caused this crash. And a comment to Brian from Ashland, no I have not DONE his job, but when he decided to DO his job, he knew he would be responsible for people other than himself daily. He knew he was responsible for their safety, but yet he decided on the morning of Aug. 27th, to disregard all the proper procedures that he should have done. No other pilot that morning had a problem with the lights, so why did they?? This lawsuit it ludacris and he should be ashamed.
  • by Pilots wife Location: KY on Aug 30, 2007 at 05:28 AM
    Right on,Brian!First officer Clay was in the cockpit with Mr.Polehinke.BOTH men were responsible,no matter who is at the controls,along with BG airport,FFA and others.I'm sure he tried to avoid the accident,and it's by the grace of God he lived.How do you'blame it all'on him?Why is it ok for others to sue but not him?Because he survived?You cant be serious,and it's outright STUPID to suggest he sue himself.How can you think it's about the money!If you were partially to blame for an accident,along with others,wouldn't you want them held responsible,too?Yes,you would!He knows he's PARTIALLY at fault,and has lost much sleep over this.Just like you and me,he's only human.As stated before,it was a combo of things gone wrong.You have NO IDEA what this man is going through,and you'd sue,too. It's easy to find fault when you have no idea what goes on in a cockpit.Does anyone know what the word'accident'means?Mistakes happen!Are all you so perfect you dont screw up?Sh*t happens in this world.
  • by lisa Location: london on Aug 29, 2007 at 07:00 AM
    being a licensed pilot he should have recognized that all was not right on that tragic morning .if their was any doubt in his mind that the runway markings were a tad difficult to comprehend he should have radioed the tower to get some directions or information .....something !!!! his life is what he walked away with .49 others did not .they placed their lives into his hands .his second chance at life has not taught him anything about the value of it .get all the money you can mr.polehinke i hope it makes you so very happy .but money cannot buy you a peaceful nights sleep .yes,absolutlely i am blaming you for all of it .for cutting lives short for taking away loved ones and for not behaving the way a professional pilot should .those people that boarded that plane TRUSTED YOU .i am not forgetting that you suffered also .but you sir are alive .49 others were not so lucky.
  • by Rob Location: Anders on Aug 29, 2007 at 04:24 AM
    Is he going to sue his own eyes for not checking his compass headings???? He should sue hisself!!!!!
  • by mel Location: lex on Aug 28, 2007 at 05:43 AM
    A tragedy of errors. This is going to generate a lot of posts, and I'm going to listen first to the people who are experienced and informed in this field. This does not sit squarely on anyone's shoulders, as the NTSB reported. It was a combination of errors that led to a tragedy with many victims, and Polehinke was one of them.
  • by Chris Location: Paris on Aug 28, 2007 at 04:58 AM
    Just when I thought I could not be shocked anymore....along comes Ploehinke. Buddy just go away quietly, you & you alone made a tremendous mistake and it sits squarely on YOUR shoulders. You have some nerve and don't be surprised at the amount of hate mail you will probably receicve over this lawsuit.
  • by Meghan Location: Lexington on Aug 28, 2007 at 04:37 AM
    Do you think that he's not paying already? Do you think that he doesn't realize that a mistake partially by him helped cause this tragedy? Do you think that he doesn't think about it everyday? I can't imagine the hell on earth that he goes through knowing that an error in judgement, partially due to himself, caused this. Cut him some slack. He'll never have his life either!
  • by Steven Location: Lexington on Aug 27, 2007 at 09:55 PM
    My feeling is this. It's not one particular person's fault. It's a combination of everything. The only innocent party in this whole thing are the passengers.
  • by sean Location: cincinnati on Aug 27, 2007 at 08:11 PM
    You cannot make the case that the F.O. breaking the sterile cockpit rule (which routinely happens) caused the crash of CMR5191. First Officer Polehinke and Captain Clay have been dragged through the mud enough. There were numerous mistakes made by the crew, the airline, and the FAA itself that factored into this crash. It is disgusting to propose that First Officer Polehinke's lawsuit is frivolous. He was a victim as well. The flying public generally has no idea what goes into an airline flight and thus cannot pass judgment on the pilots without conducting an extensive review of the other contributing factors. Some of the blame does indeed fall on the flight crew, but there are many others who are getting off easy with the NTSB's final decision.
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