Family Members of Crash Victims Solicited

UPDATE, WED, 7:30 PM: Ads from lawyers appeared in Wednesday's Lexington Herald-Leader, soliciting family members of victims who died in the Comair crash.

Kentucky's Attorney General Greg Stumbo says the ads show 'questionable conduct' by the attorneys, and he's forwarded complaints to the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Kentucky Bar Association.

Stumbo said federal law prohibits attorneys from soliciting victims' families for 45 days following a plane crash.

PREVIOUSLY: Legal experts say because of the circumstances surrounding the crash of Comair Flight 5191, it is a virtual certainty the commuter airline will be sued.

They also say parent company Delta Air Line's bankruptcy won't be able to protect Comair. University of Kentucky law professor Mary Davis says that because people trust their lives to airlines, carriers have a high legal obligation to their passengers.

She called it a "very stringent standard of care" that wasn't met.

Stanley Chesley, a Cincinnati lawyer who successfully sued Libya in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, says the crash at Blue Grass Airport that killed 49 people and injured the first officer was not mere negligence.

Chesley said punitive conduct was involved. He said Tuesday that Comair will be the focus of any lawsuit.

A spokeswoman for Comair says the airline knows that no monetary relief can overcome the grief of losing a loved one, but assistance is being offered to each family affected by the Sunday crash in Lexington.

Kate Marx says $25,000 in financial assistance is being offered to each of the Flight 5191 families, either directly or through a legal representative.

Marx says Comair knows that there will likely be additional demands on the families and the airline wants to help alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures.

Marx said she did not know whether families who lost more than one loved one in the crash will get more than $25,000.

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