Court: County responsible for cost of Flight 3407 cleanup

Mar 12, 2013

Erie County has lost its bid to recover the money it spent in the aftermath of the 2009 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 in Clarence.

A federal appeals court last week upheld a ruling clearing flight operator Colgan Air, its parent company Pinnacle Airlines, and Continental Airlines of responsibility for the cost of the emergency response and cleanup. The reason: a provision of New York law that says public money spent doing government work is not recoverable.
Flight 3407 crashed into a house in Clarence on approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport in February 2009. All 49 people on board and a man in the house were killed.
Erie County argued the airlines should pay its $800,000 tab because pilot error caused the crash.