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Air crash families get win in lawsuit issue

BUFFALO — Families suing over the 2009 crash of Flight 3407 near Buffalo have won a key victory as their cases move forward.

They learned Monday they’ll be allowed to sue for unlimited punitive damages from the flight’s operators. Those are damages meant to punish companies and deter future wrongdoing.

A federal judge in Buffalo had to decide whether Virginia law — which caps punitive damages at $350,000 — should apply since Colgan Air was based in Virginia at the time of the crash, or whether New York law should apply, since that’s where the crash happened. New York has no cap.

The judge decided for New York law.

All 49 people aboard Continental Connection Flight 3407 were killed when it crashed into a Clarence home. The homeowner also died.

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